Family rescued from boat on fire at Portumna


A family of five was rescued by local emergency services and a private vessel when their boat caught fire on Lough Derg on Sunday.

The Coast Guard, Rescue 115 helicopter, and Lough Derg were called to the scene when a 38ft cruiser with passengers aboard caught fire at Castle Harbour, Portumna around midday on Sunday.

The Skipper of the burning boat was evacuated to a local vessel, which backed away for safety’s sake, and the other four people aboard, all safe and unharmed, were brought to ambulances on the shore.

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was asked by the Coast Guard to assist in checking the wellbeing of the casualties.

By 12:35 the fire aboard the boat had strongly taken hold, and firefighters from Portumna Fire Service were working to extinguish the blaze.

As there was significant risk to the many boat users close by with fuel onboard the vessel, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat and the Killaloe Coast Guard boat to monitor the scene and request that all vessels maintain a safe distance.

At 1.30pm, firefighters had managed to put out the main fire, however the vessel was still smouldering and billowing smoke. The anchor line had burned and the vessel was now drifting into a main navigation channel.

At 2.14pm, the casualty vessel was relocated to Carrigahorig Bay, where firefighters continued to pump water and foam to ensure the fire was fully out.