Killaloe Coast Guard

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Lough Derg RNLI assist 4 people on a 23ft cruiser aground on the Black Rocks, west of Holy Island in Scarriff BayAt 9.05pm last night, Thursday August 6, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of 4 people on a 23ft cruiser with engine failure, reported to be pushed onto rocks behind Holy Island in Scarriff Bay, at the south western end of Lough Derg.

At 9.20pm the RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Doireann Kennedy on board. The wind was southerly, Force 3, gusting Force 5. Visibility was poor with failing light, low mist and heavy rain squalls. Valentia Coast Guard also requested Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter based at Shannon, to assist

As the lifeboat passed Holy Island, RNLI volunteers spotted an SOS light signal from the shore, in an area known as the Black Rocks. The lifeboat took transits on their location, and with soundings of depths, navigated with caution to the casualty vessel. The skipper of the cruiser had deployed his anchor, but it had dragged and the vessel was pushed into a dangerous and rocky area of shore.

Once the lifeboat crew decided on their rescue plan they informed the Coast Guard, who stood down Rescue 115, who were flying overhead.

At 9.30pm the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel. They found two adults and two teenagers on board, safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel and when he was satisfied it was not holed, set up for a tow. He took in the anchor and the vessel was taken off the rocks with the lifeboat steering a reciprocal route back out to safe water.

Once out in safe water, an RNLI crew member lengthened the tow and the lifeboat took the casualty vessel to Mountshannon Harbour. With the advent of nightfall and deteriorating weather conditions, progress was slow.

At 10.33pm the lifeboat arrived in Mountshannon Harbour, which was completely full. A skipper of a moored vessel kindly offered to have the casualty vessel rafted next to hers for the night. The casualty vessel was safely tied alongside at 10.45pm.

The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 11.08pm

Keith Brennan, Trainee Helm at Lough Derg RNLI commended the quick actions of the skipper on the casualty vessel saying, ‘he did everything correctly; deploying the anchor once his engine failed, calling for help and using light signals to indicate his position to the lifeboat’.


Notes to editors

Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat station has been operating since 2004. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

A photo of Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat can be viewed at:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI volunteer helm and Lifeboat Press Officer on 0877535207 or or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media
resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the
RNLI News Centre

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,700 lives.
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