Lough Derg RNLI assist grounded cruiser with 6 on board

Lough Derg RNLI assist grounded cruiser with 6 on board


Eleanor Hooker (at helm) with her volunteer RNLI colleagues returning to station – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was called out to assist 6 people last night after their cruise boat ran aground close to the eastern shore of the lake.

The volunteer team was tasked at around 9.00pm by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry. The Coast Guard had received a report that a 35-ft cruiser, with four adults and two young children on board, had run aground inside the Mountaineer Buoy at Ryan’s Point.

At 9.17pm the Dromineer-based lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. The wind was easterly, Force 2 with good visibility.

Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, a lifeboat crew took soundings from the bow, whilst another checked depths on the navigation charts.

When the lifeboat came alongside, crew established that all people on board the casualty vessel were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. Two RNLI volunteers were transferred to the cruiser and, once satisfied that the vessel was not holed, set up for a tow.

The lifeboat took the vessel off the rocks and out into safe water, where an RNLI volunteer ensured that the drives, steering and rudder were in good working order. Once the cruiser was safely under way and making way to their next harbour, the lifeboat returned to Station.

Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users ‘to plan your passage and pay close attention to the navigational buoys that mark safe water on the lake’.

The lifeboat was ready for service again at 10.12pm

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.