Lone boatman assisted by Lough Derg RNLI

Lone boatman assisted by Lough Derg RNLI


The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat returning to station this evening – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

The Lough Derg RNLI was called out this afternoon to assist a person on a 27ft cruiser that had suffered engine failure and ran aground at Gortmore Point.

At 4.54pm, Lough Derg RNLI ‘Jean Spier’ was launched following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist one person on board a 27ft cruiser grounded on rocks at Gortmore Point.

Conditions were rough with North Westerly winds, Force  5, gusting to 7/8 with frequent rain squalls.

The crew of the recently commissioned Altantic-85 class lifeboat, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Keith Brennan and Owen Cavanagh arrived on scene at 5.14pm. The 27ft cruiser had engine failure and was being pushed onto rocks. The skipper had deployed his anchor, but it did not hold initially, and the cruiser was pushed farther behind a rocky shoal before the anchor held.

Lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and decided to go upwind in order to approach the casualty in safe water. An RNLI volunteer took constant soundings of depths.

A lifeboat crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel where he established that the person on board was safe and unharmed. After assessing that the boat was not holed, he set up for a tow, and the lifeboat took the vessel off the shoal and out into safe water.

Once in deep water, and due to the adverse weather conditions, the lifeboat changed to an alongside tow and brought the casualty vessel, with the skipper and the RNLI volunteer onboard, into Terryglass public harbour. The casualty vessel was tied safely alongside at 5.47pm.

Eleanor Hooker, volunteer helm at Lough Derg RNLI said: ‘Have your engines serviced and use fresh fuel before first taking to the water after over wintering your boat’.

The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 6.45pm.

Previous story:

New lifeboat enters service on Lough Derg

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.