The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat has assisted two people on an 18ft motor cruiser that suffered engine failure about 2km north of Portumna Bridge above Lough Derg on the River Shannon.
At 6.40pm the lifeboat launched from from its base at Dromineer and proceeded to the scene. The volunteer crew made contact with the lock keeper at Portumna Bridge to inform him that the lifeboat would be at the bridge in twenty minutes, and requested he open the bridge please.
At 7.00pm the lifeboat arrived at Portumna Bridge where the Lock Keeper was waiting and opening the swing bridge. Once on the river, the lifeboat saw a vessel under tow by a personal watercraft.
After establishing that this was the vessel which had called for help, and that both people on board were safe, unharmed and wearing their lifejackets, the lifeboat determined the cause of the engine failure. The lifeboat took the tow from the personal watercraft, who returned north to his home harbour, and brought the motorboat to the Lough Derg side of Portumna Bridge.
After the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside, the skipper of the vessel told the crew his van and kit to fix his boat were across the bay at Terryglass Harbour. Given the late hour with sunset timed for 8.44pm, the lifeboat helm decided to take the skipper to Terryglass Harbour where he could collect his van and drive back to his boat. The second person remained at Portumna Harbour.
The lifeboat departed Terryglass Harbour at 7.30pm and was back at Station at 7.50pm.
Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘plan your passage, ensure you have sufficient fuel for your journey and plan to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall.’
The operation was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.