Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist a family of 4 on a 34ft cruiser aground near Portumna

Earlier today, Sunday 24 March, whilst out on exercise, Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat ‘Jean Spier’ was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a family of four on a 34ft cruiser aground near Portumna, at the northern end of Lough Derg. Valentia Coast Guard had been alerted following a 999 call from a member of the public on shore.


Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist a family of 4 on a 34ft cruiser aground near Portumna

The lifeboat, with helm Dom Sharkey and crew Joe O’Donoghue, Tom Hayes and Ciara Lynch on board, headed immediately to the scene. The lake was calm with good visibility. Winds were with south-westerly, Force 1-2.

The lifeboat had the casualty vessel in sight at 11.24am.


Using local knowledge and on-board navigation charts, the lifeboat made a safe approach to the casualty vessel. An RNLI volunteer transferred across to ensure the passengers were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The RNLI volunteer made a thorough inspection of the casualty vessel and, once satisfied it was not holed, reported back to the lifeboat. Given the remote location and that there were children on board, the helm decided to assist the vessel back out into safe water.


At 11.40am the casualty vessel was back in safe water. The lifeboat checked the drives and propeller on the casualty vessel and found them to be in good working order. With an RNLI volunteer remaining on board, the cruiser then made way under its own power to the closest safe harbour.


The lifeboat departed the scene at 11.52am and was back at Station at 12.21pm


Christine O’Malley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage noting the navigation buoys along the route. Always carry a means of communication”.

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