The volunteer crew of the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was called out to assist 8 adults on a 45ft cruiser that ran aground on the lake last night.
The alarm was raised shortly before 9.30pm when watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry received a report of a vessel on rocks by Ryan’s Point, inside the Mountaineer Bouy at Barrack Bay.
The Dromineer-based Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was launched at 9.42pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Doireann Kennedy on board.
With fading light visibility was reported to be poor while at the time, the wind was northeasterly, Force 2.
The RNLI volunteers used on-board electronic navigation, RADAR, search lights and local knowledge to steer their course to the casualty.
Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, crew took soundings of the depths in a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. The lifeboat alongside at 9.55pm and found all eight people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.
An RNLI volunteer transferred to the cruiser. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow. The lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel astern off the rocky shelf. However it was stuck fast on the rocks.
As the cruiser had been travelling in company, and it’s companion vessel was moored in Garrykennedy Harbour, the lifeboat informed Valentia Coast Guard of its intention to take all passengers on to the lifeboat and to bring them to Garrykennedy Harbour for the night.
Valentia Coast Guard arranged for the casualty vessel to be attended to first thing the following morning. At 11.04pm the lifeboat delivered the eight people into to the care of their friends at Garrykennedy Harbour.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 11.30pm
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and plan your passage, paying close attention to the navigation buoys’.