5.05pm – The cruise boat was successfully recovered from the scene this afternoon.
The operation, which took several hours, was completed at around 5.00pm after two boats were used to tow the stricken vessel clear of the bridge. It was expected to be towed to Portuma in Galway for repairs.
A spokesman for boating holiday company Emerald Star, which is operated by Le Boat, said: “We can confirm that there was a minor collision on Sunday 31 March at Killaloe Bridge involving one of our boats and no other craft. The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority, and we can confirm that our customers are safe and unharmed, having now completed their boating holiday. We are currently working with local authorities to safely return the boat to the Portumna base.”
Six people had to be rescued from a cruise boat after it collided with a bridge in Co Clare yesterday.
The vessel smashed into the northern side of the bridge that crosses the River Shannon at Killaloe/Ballina at around 4.00pm on Sunday afternoon.
Members of the Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard were alerted and requested to respond to the scene from their base a short distance away.
On arrival at the incident Coast Guard members boarded the cruiser to check that all the occupants were safe and unharmed. An assessment of the vessel was carried to establish whether it had been damaged in the collision.
The occupants had to be evacuated from the vessel by the Coast Guard rescue boat after it was found to have been damaged in the collision and taking on water.
They were taken safely ashore where a Coast Guard shore team was standing by to assist.
The hire company sent two engineers to the scene to assess the damage. It was decided it was safer to leave the vessel in place overnight and return today (Monday) to attempt a recovery.
No one on board was injured in the incident.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry mounted and coordinated the rescue operation.