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Boats Capsize On Lough Derg Tipperary – 35 People Rescued

Part of Tipperary's Lough Derg shore line.

Part of Tipperary’s Lough Derg shore line.

The Lough Derg Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were launched, just after 6.00pm yesterday evening, by Valentia Coast Guard after an international flotilla of eighteen rowing boats got into extreme difficulty near Parker’s Point. Winds at the time were westerly, Force 4, gusting 5, with poor visibility caused by rain and low cloud.

The rowers, who had set out from Terryglass, at the northern end of Lough Derg lake, at 2.00pm, were en route to Killaloe when the weather deteriorated. One rowing boat with five crew members on board, for a time, remained unaccounted, resulting in a major search and rescue operation being launched. Services launched included the Shannon based Coast Guard Helicopter, Killaloe Coast Guard, Limerick Rescue and Mount Shannon rescue, Gardaí, the Ambulance service and  three local boats.

The search, which lasted over 5 hours, eventually located one missing boat on Crow’s Island, north of Killaloe, however there was no immediate sign of the missing crew. Shortly afterwards however Gardaí confirmed that the five rowers had made it to safety, and the search operation was stood down.

In all 35 people on 18 vessels, which were racing on the Shannon from Dromineer to Killaloe were brought to safety, with 15 people needing treatment at the scene for shock and hypothermia. Three of the boats in the flotilla, who were part of a tour group from countries including Norway, Germany and the UK, managed to re-float their vessels.

Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat station, based at Dromineer, Nenagh, County Tipperary which has been operating since May 2004, regularly warn boat users to check the weather forecast before setting out, to let others know where they are going and when they anticipate arriving home, to always wear a life-jacket and to carry some means of communication in case of difficulties.

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