Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has had a busy five days, coming to the rescue of 24 people and a dog on five boats which ran aground on the lake in the past week.
After 9pm on Monday, July 19, the charity was tasked by the Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 20ft sports cruiser with five people on board which had run aground northeast of Hare Island. In calm waters and fair conditions Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew towed the boat to safe water from where it continued under its own power to Coosan Point.
Over the weekend, on Sunday morning (July 18 ) responding to a Coast Guard call-out, the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew launched under helm Emmet Devereux to assist a small cruiser with six people on board which had broken down near Yellow Island. The craft was taken under tow to Hodson Bay marina.
Later on Sunday afternoon under helm Tom Bradbury the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was back on the water to assist a cruiser with three people on board which had run aground near Quaker Island. Following inspection to boat was towed off the rocks and continued under its own power to Lanesboro.
Seven people and a dog were rescued on Saturday (July 17 ) following a call-out to a cruiser which had run aground on the Hexagon Shoal near Hare Island. In this incident, just as the Lough Ree RNLI crew had launched they were informed that the people (and the dog ) were taken on board a passing cruiser. All were delivered safely to Coosan Point.
Mid-week (Wednesday, July 14 ) the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat and volunteer crew responded to a call just before 6pm to assist a 23ft cruiser which had run aground at Kings Island. Following safety checks the vessel was towed off the rocks and headed towards Portrunny.
During the present warm weather Lough Ree RNLI operations manager Jude Kilmartin advised lake users to “pay particular attention to navigational maps and err on the side of caution due to falling water levels exposing shoals and rocks that would not normally constitute a hazard.”
One local sage, noting the apparent increase in the number of boats grounded on islands in the lake this season was tempted to paraphrase WB Yeats poem ‘Lake Isle of Inishfree’ and offer this advice to skippers ‘stay off the lake isles and finish free.’