Multi-agency operation to rescue three on River Shannon

Multi-agency operation to rescue three on River Shannon


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

One person was treated in hospital after falling overboard from a boat that suffered engine failure on the River Shannon in Co Galway on Sunday afternoon.

A multi-agency search and rescue operation was mounted at around 3.40pm when emergency services received reports of three people in difficulty on an 18ft motor boat at Portumna at the northern end of Lough Derg.

One of the three was also reported to have fallen over board after their boat suffered engine problems. The casualty was however recovered back onto vessel by his companions who entered the river to rescue him.

Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre mounted and coordinated the rescue operation.

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat and Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter were dispatched to the scene. The National Ambulance Service, Gardaí and Portumna Fire and Rescue Service were also alerted and requested to mobilise resources to the incident.

The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard was placed on standby and was ready to respond to the incident if needed.

One of the casualties was said to be hypothermic and in need of “urgent medical attention” while all the others were reported to have been “cold and wet.”

The helicopter’s winchman/paramedic was lowered onto the vessel where members of the fire service were already dealing the incident.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

On arrival, lifeboat volunteers provided blankets to all three and administered first aid including oxygen to the person who was rescued from the water.

The three casualties were transferred from their vessel to the lifeboat. One was placed on a stretcher and all three taken to a landing place and safely handed over to ambulance paramedics.

All three were assessed by paramedics while one is believed to have transported to hospital as a precaution. The helicopter crew remained on scene while the casualties were assessed. Once it was confirmed that no one was seriously injured and didn’t need to be airlifted to hospital, Rescue 115 was stood down. One person was transported to hospital by road as a precaution.

Speaking following the call out, Lough Derg RNLI helm Eleanor Hooker said: “This was a challenging multi-agency rescue operation today and we are so thankful we were able to rescue these three people with the help of our colleagues in the other emergency services. The location of the casualty vessel and the extreme temperatures of the water at this time of year meant that they needed help urgently. We wish them all a speedy recovery following their ordeal.”

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019
Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019