The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat evacuate five people from a cruiser at risk of taking on water after it ran aground on the lake this afternoon.
It was the second time in three days that the volunteer team was requested to launch and deal with vessels that had run onto rocks on Lough Derg.
At around 2.30pm today, watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub-centre on Valentia Island in Kerry, tasked the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to assist five people on a 38ft cruiser that had run aground east of Bushy Island in Scariff Bay at the southwest of Lough Derg.
The lifeboat launched at 2.45pm and reached the scene 15 minutes later. The lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel and made a cautious approach with an RNLI volunteer taking soundings off the bow. All five people on board were safe and unharmed and requested to don their lifejackets.
The cruiser was aground on a rocky shoal with large rocks visible at its stern and bow and with sand to the port side. The lifeboat lay alongside the casualty vessel’s port side whilst a volunteer climbed on board to check whether the vessel was damaged or holed.
Accompanied by the skipper, the RNLI volunteer checked under the floorboards, in the bilge and engine housing where they found a hairline break in the hull below the water line that was permitting ingress of water.
The volunteer reported back to the helm who decided that the safest course was to drop anchor, secure the vessel and take all five people off and to the safety of Mountshannon Harbour where crew would help the casualties make contact with a marina and marine engineer with facilities to recover their boat. The RNLI helm reported the findings and decision to the Irish Coast Guard.
At 3.30pm the lifeboat delivered all five people ashore at Mountshannon. After assisting the casualties to make contact with a marine engineer, the lifeboat departed the scene at 3.50pm.
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘dial 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue if in difficulty on the lake’.