Lough Ree RNLI assists three people aboard grounded 56ft barge
Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard this morning, (29 April), when a 56ft barge with three people on board ran hard aground on rocks close to Blackwood Point at the northern end of Lough Ree.
The alarm was raised shortly before 10am. Shore crew Tony Diskin, Matt Harte, Billy Henshaw and Dennis Buckley responded quickly and got the inshore lifeboat The Eric Rouse launched and underway in less than ten minutes, with first responders Kieron Sloyan, Kieran Scullion and Liam Sherringham onboard. A short time later, the lifeboat crew was alongside the casualty vessel, checking that all on board were safe and well.
The weather at the time was dry, with strong wind (Force 5, gusting Force 6) and a rising swell with waves up to a metre high. After checking that the vessel was not taking on water, a tow line was established and the vessel was safely towed to deeper navigable water. Crew member Kieran Scullion remained aboard the barge to check that all systems were operating normally and to assist with navigation on the journey north to Lanesborough quay, accompanied by the lifeboat. Upon arrival at Lanesborough, the crew ensured that the barge was securely berthed before departing the scene.
En route back to the lifeboat station, the crew observed a hire vessel straying outside the navigation channel between Clawinch Island and Quaker Island. The crew diverted course to the hire vessel and guided the occupants back to safe water. A lifeboat crew member was invited on board the vessel and spent some time assisting the hire vessel crew in identifying the navigable areas of the lake. The lifeboat crew also advised the occupants of the difficult conditions further south, whereupon the hire vessel decided to return north to Ballyleague Harbour until conditions for crossing the lake improved.
The lifeboat crew then proceeded to the lifeboat station, where the shore crew were on hand to recover the lifeboat.
Speaking following the call out, Tony McCarth, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It was a busy day for the lifeboat on Lough Ree and we were delighted to be able to assist. As we continue to enjoy this Bank Holiday weekend and as we look forward to the main boating season starting, we would like to remind everyone planning a trip on the lake to respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and ensure it is regularly checked. Always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. It is also important to learn how to start, run and maintain your engine.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland