Lough Derg RNLI assists three people on a 35ft cruiser aground at Illaunmor

At 3.25pm Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, Jean Spier, launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Winds were southerly Force 3/4, visibility was good.


Initial reports from the casualty vessel indicated that it was aground by the entrance to Dromineer Bay. With no evidence of a vessel in difficulty in the bay, the lifeboat asked Valentia Coast Guard if they could make contact with the casualties to determine their exact location or identify nearby landmarks.

Lough Derg RNLI assists three people on a 35ft cruiser aground at Illaunmor

At 3.33pm, with additional information from Valentia Coast Guard, 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. The lifeboat was alongside at 3.41pm.

One person on board had been in the water in bare feet to assess their situation and had suffered lacerations to their foot. The other two people were safe and unharmed, all 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 lifeboat reported their findings to Valentia Coast Guard who offered further medical assistance, but this was not required.


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.



The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 5.15pm


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’.

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