By Patrick Flynn
The Irish Coast Guard was called out to a yacht that ran aground twice on Lough Derg in a matter of hours yesterday.
Volunteers from the Killaloe unit of the volunteer service had earlier towed the 30-foot yacht to safety after it became stuck on rocks in Scarriff Bay close to the Clare shore.
Despite being tied up safely in Mountshannon Harbour the yacht ran aground for a second time a short distance away soon after the Coast Guard had left the area.
The first incident happened at around 6pm yesterday evening. The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard and the Dromineer based RNLI lifeboat were alerted and requested to proceed to the scene.
After locating the vessel, a crew member from Killaloe Coast Guard boarded the sailboat to check that the lone sailor was safe and to ensure the vessel had not been damaged.
The yacht was removed from the rocks and towed by the Coast Guard to Mountshannon Harbour. Once the vessel was safely tied alongside, the Coast Guard and RNLI crews were stood down.
A short time later the sailboat was seen leaving Mountshannon again however, and it quickly got into difficulty for a second time.
The Coast Guard was alerted several hours later after a member of the public observed the yacht and became concerned.
It is understood the sailor was attempting to make his way out to deeper water to tie up at one of several anchor points in the bay. Within minutes however, the yacht found itself stranded in shallow water again.
Killaloe Coast Guard was alerted at around 11.15pm and proceeded to the scene. The crew again removed the stranded yacht from rocks and towed it back into Mountshannon Harbour.
Both rescue operations were coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre (MRSC) on Valentia island in Kerry.