The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was launched this afternoon to assist six people on a 37ft cruiser that had run aground north of Hare Island on the Co. Clare shore.
The lifeboat launched at 3.02pm following a request from watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry. Winds were northerly, Force 3/4 gusting 6. Visibility was good, decreasing to moderate in frequent squalls.
At 3.31pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel in sight. The cruiser was inside the navigation mark with its bow up on the rocky shoal. Standing off, the lifeboat observed that the casualty boat was rocking from side to side. Using charts and electronic navigation, and with an RNLI crew member taking sounds from the bow, the lifeboat plotted a safe approach to the stern of casualty vessel.
Once alongside and having established that everyone on board was safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets, an RNLI crew member checked beneath the floorboards and in the engine housing to ensure there was no water coming in. Given the conditions, location and circumstances, the helm made the decision to set up a tow and to take the casualty astern off the rocks.
At 3.59pm the lifeboat had the cruiser off the rocks and out in safe water. The RNLI crew member on the casualty vessel again checked that there was no ingress of water and that the drives forward and astern, and the rudder were working. With an RNLI volunteer remaining on board, and the lifeboat in company, the cruiser made way under its own power to Garrykennedy Harbour. It was safely tied alongside at 4.35pm.
Aoife Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to ‘study your charts when planning your passage, anticipate each navigation mark along your route and keep a constant lookout’.