Lough Ree RNLI volunteers have a busy May

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew was on the water twice over the weekend during a busy month in which the charity has been called to assist 23 in six different incidents during May.

At 4.30pm on Sunday (May 28) the Coast Guard tasked Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew to assist three people in a fishing boat which was drifting off the western shore. The charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ with a volunteer crew of Stuart McMicken (helm), Kieran Scullion and Denis Begley was launched in sunny, calm conditions. On reaching the scene, off Carnagh Military Range, at 5.15pm, the crew found a 4.5m lake boat drifting without power. It appeared that the boat had struck rocks and suffered lower engine damage. The three casualties were unharmed and the RNLI lifeboat towed the stricken vessel to the safety of the jetty at Hodson Bay.

Earlier in the weekend, on Saturday just after 7.30pm Lough Ree RNLI responded to a call for assistance from a boat which had run aground with six people on board. Launched at 7.45pm the RNLI lifeboat under volunteer helm Kieran Sloyan and with a volunteer crew of Billy Henshaw Jnr. alongside newly graduated crew Paul Kelly and Ray Cregg reached the stricken vessel in ten minutes. On arrival at the scene, east of Carberry Island, the crew found six people on board a 40ft. cruiser which had run aground. Following an inspection the boat was towed off the rocks by the RNLI’s ‘Tara Scougall’ and continued under its own power.

This brought to 12 the number of call-outs Lough Ree RNLI has responded to in 2023.

Earlier in May RNLI volunteer crew were tasked by the Coast Guard to four separate incidents of cruisers ending up on rocks in lower Lough Ree close to Kidd Island, Quaker Island, Kings Island and Hare Island.

In the most serious of these, on the afternoon of Monday, May 22, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew assisted five people on board a cruiser which suffered damage having run aground near Hare Island. The damaged boat was towed to Portaneena for inspection and assessment.

Ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend Lough Ree RNLI volunteer Operations Manager Kevin Ganly has asked all those in charge of boats on the lake to "be fully familiar with their navigation charts and pay particular attention to signage and guidance provided. With receding water levels previously unseen obstacles may now cause an obstruction and damage to boats on the water."

The public are reminded that in case of danger on the water it is important to call for emergency services at the earliest opportunity. The RNLI volunteer crew and the charity’s lifeboat are on call 24 hours a day to respond to people in danger and save lives on the water.