Busy weekend for search and rescue crews

Busy weekend for search and rescue crews


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was launched earlier this evening to assist 4 adults on a 30ft cruiser that had run aground at Skehanagh, on eastern, Tipperary shore of Lough Derg behind Illaunmor. 

At 5.15pm, as Lough Derg RNLI volunteers were arriving for a training exercise, Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to launch to assist 4 people on a 30ft cruiser, who reported their boat aground by Dromaan Harbour on the County Clare Shore.

At 5.19pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh, crew Keith Brennan and Tom Hayes on board. Visibility was very good, and the lake flat calm.

When the cruiser was not located at Dromaan Harbour, Valentia Coast Guard supplied the lifeboat with the telephone number for the casualty vessel.

Lifeboat crew asked the casualties to describe what they could see around them, and from their descriptions, the lifeboat volunteers accurately determined that they were at Skehanagh, north of Illaunmor on the Tipperary shore.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene they found all on board safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow.

The lifeboat took the cruiser off the rocks and out into safe water, where an RNLI volunteer checked that its drives and rudder were in good working order.

The lifeboat took their crew member back onto the lifeboat and the cruiser continued its passage.  The lifeboat departed the scene at 6.26pm and was back at station at 6.33pm.

Liam Maloney, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and stay on the navigation channel when passage planning.’

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Also today, the crew of the Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to three separate incidents in Co Kerry.

In each case, the resources tasked to the incidents were stood down when it was confirmed that all concerned were safe and well.

The incidents involved a person cut off by the tide at Cappagh Beach in Brandon Bay; a swimmer in difficulty in the same area and a family cut off by the tide also in Co Kerry.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard unit responded to a request to assist the crew of a 30-foot sail boat that had sustained damage and was left drifting close to Scilly Island on Lough Derg.

At around 4.30pm, a boat crew launched from Pier Head Killaloe with crew members Damien Madden, Colm Spain, Pat O’Connell and Niall Devery on board.

Once on scene a crew member was transferred the casualty vessel. The two occupants of the vessel were safe and well and wearing life jackets.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

An assessment was carried out of the damaged sail and with conditions on scene challenging for the crew the vessel was taken on tow to Mountshannon Harbour where a Coast Guard shore team was on hand to assist in the safe mooring of the vessel.

Once the vessel was secured the crew assisted the owner to lift the damaged sail from the water and secure it on shore.

It was the Killaloe volunteer crew’s fifth call-out in six days.

All the operations were mounted and coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia island in Kerry.