The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was called into action late last night following reports that a 16ft motorboat with four people on board had lost propulsion after glancing off a rock.
The alarm was raised at around 11.45pm when the Irish Coast Guard received a report of a boat adrift in Scarriff Bay after losing power. It’s understood the occupants of the boat raised the alarm.
Watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry alerted and tasked the lifeboat and provided the crew with the coordinates for the last known position of the motorboat.
At 12.30am as the lifeboat approached Scarriff Bay, RNLI crew heard a Mayday transmission on Channel 16. Valentia Coast Guard quickly established that the Mayday alert was from the same vessel to which the lifeboat was launched to assist. The navigator on board the lifeboat called the casualty vessel on VHF radio to reassure them that the lifeboat was five minutes from their location.
Once in Scarriff Bay and approaching the coordinates for the casualty vessel, RNLI volunteers used their RADAR to pinpoint the vessel’s exact location. An RNLI crew member used a search light to indicate to the casualties that the lifeboat had located them and was close by.
At 12.35am the lifeboat came alongside the casualty vessel and found all on board to be safe and well and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the motorboat to assess the situation.
Given the hour and the isolated location, the RNLI helm decided that the safest course of action was to take the motorboat and her passengers, and with a RNLI crew member remaining on board, across the bay to Mountshannon Harbour, the safest close harbour. Crew set up for an alongside tow.
At 01.18am the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside in Mountshannon Harbour. At 01.25am the lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 01.50am
Christine O’Malley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘ensure your vessel is equipped for night-time navigation and keep current navigation charts on board’.