Three people were rescued from a sinking boat off Co Clare late last night by an RNLI lifeboat crew.
The alarm was raised at around 11.20pm when the occupants of a 7-metre rib (rigid inflatable boat) contacted the Irish Coast Guard to report they were in difficulty off Carrigaholt in the west of the county.
It is understood that the man and two women very moving the rib from the outer pier to the inner pier at Carrigaholt when the vessel’s engine cut out leaving them adrift.
As the boat drifted further from shore and out into Carrigaholt Bay, the vessel also began to take on water.
While watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub-centre on Valentia Island in Kerry maintained contact with the casualty vessel, the volunteer crew of the Kilrush RNLI lifeboat were alerted and requested to launch.
The lifeboat reached the scene shortly before midnight and quickly located the stricken rib more than a kilometre off-shore. The three occupants were wearing lifejackets and doing their best to bail water from the vessel.
The RNLI crew took the rib on tow to Carrigaholt Pier where it was safely tied up. Lifeboat volunteers also checked to ensure those on board were unharmed and didn’t require medical attention.
Once it was confirmed that all three were safe and well, the lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to their station.
Kilrush lifeboat press officer Charlie Glynn said: “This was a time-critical incident and conditions at the time were challenging.
"We located the casualty vessel and took it on tow to Carrigaholt Pier. The occupants of the rib were all wearing lifejackets and were safe and well.”