The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat launched this afternoon to assist three people on board a cruiser that had run aground on the lake.
The alarm was raised at around 3.15pm when Irish Coast Guard was alerted to the incident reported to have occurred close to the entrance to Dromineer Bay.
The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, based at Dromineer, launched and proceeded to the reported location however, on arrival on the area, found no evidence of a vessel in difficulty.
The lifeboat crew contacted watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island to establish further information about the incident by contacting the skipper of the casualty vessel to determine their exact location or identify nearby landmarks.
When more information became available the lifeboat located the casualty vessel at the southern end of Illaunmor.
Using on-board electronic navigation equipment and taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. As the lifeboat neared the cruiser, it was evident from the diving platform that someone on the casualty vessel had suffered an injury. The helm asked two crew members to put on gloves and to ready the first aid kit.
One person on board had been in the water in their bare feet to assess their situation and had suffered lacerations to their foot. The other two people were safe and unharmed but were asked to don their lifejackets. Two RNLI volunteers transferred to the casualty vessel and attended to the injured person.
Once the RNLI volunteers were satisfied that the person had no other injuries, he was instructed to remain seated with his foot elevated. The casualty did not require any other medical assistance.
The casualty vessel had grounded bow up on a rocky shoal. An RNLI volunteer checked under the floorboards and in the engine housing to make certain that the vessel was not holed, then set up an astern tow after being requested to do so by the helm.
The second RNLI volunteer on board the casualty vessel returned to the lifeboat to assist with tow lines. At 4.10pm the lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel off the shoal but it was stuck fast.
The helm made the decision to take all people off the boat and to the safety of Dromineer and informed Valentia Coast Guard of this. Volunteers made contact with RNLI shore crew back at Station and asked that they book accommodation for the three people at Lough Derg House in Dromineer.
An RNLI volunteer secured the vessel and deployed the anchor. All three people were assisted on to the lifeboat and taken to Dromineer where, at 5.00pm, they were met by the proprietor of Lough Derg House. Shore crew also made contact with the cruiser company to arrange for the recovery of the casualty vessel.
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘keep to the navigation route on your charts and keep a constant lookout’.