Lough Derg lifeboat rescues two aboard yacht stranded on rocks

Galway Daily news Lough Derg RNLI helps family on boat run aground at night
Photo: RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat launched to come to the aid of two people stranded on a yacht after it ran aground yesterday.

The lifeboat was launched shortly after 3:30pm on Saturday at the request of the Valentia Coast Guard.

Two people had called for aid after their 37ft yacht ran aground in Church Bay, an area known for its rocky shoals.

The lifeboat launched with helm Owen Cavanagh, and crew Doireann Kennedy, Chris Parker and Tom Hayes on board

Winds were light, north-easterly, Force 1 at the time of launch, with very good visibility.

The crew headed to Church Bay, which is located approximately two miles west of the station on Lough Derg.

After rounding Hare Island close to the Clare shore, the casualty vessel came into sight.

The skipper of the yacht had kept his jib hoisted to help identify himself to the RNLI crew.

Due to the rocky shoals in the area, and given what had happened to the people they were coming to help, the lifeboat took a cautious approach and took depth soundings off the bow.

Once they made it alongside the stricken yacht, they ensured that everyone aboard was safe, unharmed and were wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred to the casualty vessel to check that it was not holed and to help lower the jib.

The lifeboat made further soundings around the vessel and, given the isolated location, the helm made the decision to take the casualty off the rocks and into safe water, having first emptied the yacht’s ballast and water tanks to reduce the draft of the vessel.

When the lifeboat volunteers were satisfied there was no damage to the propellers or drives on the casualty vessel, it made way by motor to its home harbour in Dromineer.

Liam Maloney, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “study your charts when planning your passage and keep to the navigation routes”.