A rescue operation was mounted this afternoon following reports that a vessel with four people on board was taking on water and at risk of sinking.
The incident occurred on Lough Derg close to the Clare shore at around 4.30pm. The Irish Coast Guard launched a search and rescue operation after receiving a report that a speedboat was in difficulty off Parkers Point south of the Scilly Islands.
Watch officers at the Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry initiated the emergency response and broadcast a message on the marine VHF radio channels requesting any vessels in the area to assist if they were in a position to do so.
Lough Derg RNLI and the Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard were requested to launch their boats and proceed to the area.
The Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was diverted from another mission and also asked to assist. The helicopter had been on its way to airlift a patient to hospital from Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, when it was re-tasked to the more urgent incident on Lough Derg.
The Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) air ambulance, Air Corps 112, based in Athlone was dispatched to cover the Aran Islands call instead.
Some clever use of available resources was employed by the @AmbulanceNAS earlier today. @IrishCoastGuard R115 was tasked…
Soon after arriving on scene, the crew of Rescue 115 located the casualty vessel and remained on scene until the RNLI and Coast Guard rescue boats arrived at the location.
Conditions on the lake at the time were reported to be choppy resulting in water getting into the boat.
The Killaloe Coast Guard took the vessel on tow however when some of the casualties complained of feeling cold, all four were evacuated onto the rescue boat. The speedboat’s anchor was dropped and left at the scene while the casualties were taken ashore at Twomilegate where they were met and assessed by National Ambulance Service.
The Killaloe Coast Guard later returned to the casualty vessel with equipment for pumping water from the boat. The boat was later taken under tow to Killaloe where it was tied up safely.
Meanwhile, not long after returning to their station after the first callout, Killaloe Coast Guard was tasked again to assist the occupants of another vessel.
At around 8.15pm, the team was requested to go to the assistance of a cruiser which was reported to have suffered engine difficulties north of Scilly Island on Lough Derg.
There were 3 adults and 3 children on board the vessel and all were found to be safe and well. Killaloe Coast Guard took the vessel on tow back to Killaloe where a shore team was standing by to assist with tying up the boat.
Earlier, the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat also responded to a boat in difficulty on the lake.
At 1.06pm the lifeboat crew was requested to launch and assist two people on a 32ft cruiser reported to be aground by the Silver Islands, inside the red marker ‘Juliet’.
As the lifeboat approached Cloondavaun Bay, the volunteer crew could see three vessels on standby in safe water monitoring the casualty vessel.
The lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 1.46pm. Both people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow.
At 1.59pm the lifeboat had the cruiser off the rocks and towed out into safe water where drives and rudder were checked and found to be in good working order.
The lifeboat took their crew member back onto the lifeboat and the cruiser made it’s way safely to Cloondavaun Bay Harbour