On Saturday, August 13, Lough Ree RNLI was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard to assist 10 people on board a speedboat in danger of sinking on the River Shannon near the M6 Bridge in Athlone.
Launched at 9.58pm under helm Kieran Sloyan the charity’s lifeboat with volunteer crew of Kieran Scullion, Patrick Walsh and Stewart McMickan reached the scene in six minutes. On arrival at the scene the crew found that the ten people on board had been transferred to another vessel while the speedboat had capsized and sank. Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat escorted the vessel with the ten casualties to Athlone Marina where all were found to be well.
This was the second ‘shout’ of the weekend for Lough Ree RNLI. On Friday last, August 12, the volunteer crew responded to a ‘Mayday’ call from a 50 foot cruiser with three people on board which was experiencing engine difficulties on the northern end of the lake. On arrival at the scene the stricken vessel was inspected and taken under tow to Lanesboro, County Longford.
The rescues this weekend brings to 29 the number of people assisted by Lough Ree RNLI this month.
Last weekend (Sunday, August 7 ) the volunteer crew responded to three separate incidents in the afternoon. Cruisers stranded on the Hexagon Shoal and Kings Island, with a total of five people on board, were towed to safe water. In a separate incident a boat with three people on board was towed to Lecarrow, County Roscommon having had engine difficulty.
Earlier this month the charities volunteer crews went to the assistance of boats in difficulty at the Hexagon Shoal, Bantry Bay and Inchmore Island which were escorted to safety.
“That while it is great to see so many people enjoying the wonderful amenity of the lake and river in this spell of warm weather it is important for all users to remember that lower water levels mean that previously hidden obstacles can now endanger people and craft using the waterway,” Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Kevin Ganly, commenting on this busy period for the charity, stated.