The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat rescued an elderly couple who got into difficulty and were reported to be in the water on the lake this afternoon.
Staff at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island requested the volunteer crew to search a 28ft cruiser which was reported to be taking on water and sinking.
Watch officers at Valentia provided co-ordinates to the lifeboat crew who located the casualty vessel in Cloondevaun Bay, at the northeastern shore of Lough Derg.
The Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue helicopter, Rescue 115, was scrambled from its Shannon Airport based. Additional RNLI shore crew and lifeboat crew came to the station at Dromineer to provide assistance.
The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard was also tasked and proceeded to Terryglass by road from where they were ready to launch their boat if required.
Winds were reported to be southerly, Force 5 gusting 6, with large waves forming. Visibility was good.
The Lifeboat arrived on scene at 2.33pm while Rescue 115 hovered overhead and monitoring the casualty vessel, which was now aground on rocks with both of its passengers back on board.
As Cloondevaun Bay has sudden shallows and rocks, the lifeboat approached with caution, with an RNLI volunteer taking soundings. Given the weather and the condition of the cruiser, the lifeboat volunteers took both casualties on to the lifeboat and away from immediate danger.
The crew assessed the casualties, an elderly couple on holidays from overseas and with little English, and found them to be well. Both were wearing their lifejackets. Once the lifeboat was in safe water, Rescue 115 departed the scene and returned to their base at Shannon.
The lifeboat took the couple to Terryglass Harbour, where they were given shelter, tea and dry clothes by people at berth in the harbour. RNLI shore-crew back at the Boathouse made further arrangements for the couple.
Liam Maloney, Lifeboat Operations Manager Lough Derg RNLI, said afterwards: “It’s best to stay with your vessel and only get into the water as a last resort. Our advice to boat users is, whilst navigating to your next mark, always check the marker astern of you to make you are not drifting into shallow water.”
Meanwhile, the Killaloe Coast Guard unit was tasked to a vessel aground North of Shannonbridge in Co Offaly.
A crew departed Killaloe by road to the scene with their D Class rescue boat a journey of over an hour. Once the casualty vessel was safely back at the slipway the unit was stood down.
However, just five minutes later they were retasked to assist Lough Derg RNLI in Cloondevaun Bay.