A group of teenagers "put their lives at risk and risked the lives of others" when they undocked a pontoon and boat belonging to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service LMSRS, Wednesday night, writes David Raleigh.
Two teenage girls were helping gardaí with their enquiries into the incident, while a group of four or five teenage boys were also being sought by gardaí.
According to reliable sources a group of youths untied the LMSRS owned Bersa Dock pontoon at Sarsfield House, around 7.45pm.
The pontoon as well as a rescue boat belonging to LMSRS, which was tied to the pontoon, both floated off on the River Shannon with two teenage girls on board the boat.
A crew from LMSRS were dispatched to the incident and performed a dramatic rescue around 8.15pm.
The two girls were brought to safety at St Michael's Rowing Club slipway.
"Our pontoon and our rescue craft drifted away with two young people sitting on (the boat). It drifted into the River Shannon," said Karen Keehan, Coxon Officer, LMSRS.
"It could have been very serious. They could have put lives at risk. We and the gardaí are treating it as a very serious incident," Ms Keehan added.
"There were two young females on board. It looks like a number of males released them (onto the river)."
"It had drifted from Sarsfield House to Sarsfield Bridge when we got the call. We had four crew members in a boat and two members who jumped into the pontoon and untied the boat. They then launched the boat with the girls on it and brought them to dry land."
"The other rescue boat had to tow the pontoon back to safety."
Ms Keehan condemned the actions of those involved.
"That kind of messing puts other people's lives at risk, as it ties us up when we could be performing a rescue operation on the river," she explained.
"These people put their own lives at risk; and they put our lives at risk," she said.
"Ultimately it's a very serious incident," she added.