The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat responded to two emergency calls on Friday evening.
At around 4.45pm, watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre at Valentia requested the volunteer crew of Lough Derg RNLI to assist two people on a 30ft cruiser aground at the Goat Road at navigation Marker E.
At 5.00pm the lifeboat arrived on scene. The casualty vessel was grounded, bow up on a shoal inside the Goat Road, a location midway up the north-eastern shore of the lake. Both people on board were safe and unharmed and requested to don their lifejackets.
An RNLI crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel to check that it was not holed and after being requested to do so by the helm, set up an astern tow.
At 5.15pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel off the shoal and under tow to safe water, where the drives and propeller were checked and found to be in good working order.
Whilst the RNLI volunteer was providing guidance on lake buoyage before the cruiser continued its passage south under its own power, Lough Derg RNLI Boathouse contacted the lifeboat to say a 16ft motor boat with four people on board was in difficulty in Scariff Bay at the south-western end of the lake. The RNLI volunteer transferred back to the lifeboat, which informed Valentia Coast Guard that it was making way to Scariff Bay to assist the four people in difficulty.
En route the RNLI volunteers asked watch officers in Valentia if they had an exact location for the casualty vessel and were given coordinates and a report that the people on board could see Rabbit Island. At 5.40pm the lifeboat located the casualty vessel deep inside Scarriff Bay near Castlebawn Castle on the south-western shore opposite Rabbit Island.
All four people were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The lifeboat volunteers set up for an alongside tow and the RNLI helm asked the skipper of the casualty vessel to raise his outboard engine to reduce drag. The lifeboat took the vessel to the safety of Mountshannon Harbour, where volunteers assisted with the recovery of the vessel to a road trailer.
Christine O’Malley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘anticipate each navigation buoy on your route and keep a constant lookout, and especially for the Goat Road navigation mark which is closer to the centre line of the lake than might be expected’.