Probe after waves swamp boat ferrying tourists in Killarney

Twelve tourists and the skipper of an excursion boat were rescued from a lake in Killarney after a licensed passenger vessel became swamped by waves in a freak incident.

And to add to the distress of the tourists, a second passenger boat on its way to rescue them also became submerged.

They were finally brought to the safety of the shore by a third boat.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) is conducting an investigation.

The tourists, all wearing life jackets, were reportedly in the water for up to 20 minutes.

They had set out on a traditional tour in the unique Killarney Gap boats which are big for their class.

The incident had occurred at around 11.15am on September 1 on Lough Leane.

The party had set out from a pier near Ross Castle for a trip through the three Killarney lakes.

No injuries were reported but some passengers were said to be very shaken.

A number of tourists, among them German and Americans, later made statements to gardaí about lost property and damage to electronic equipment.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Transport are also involved in investigations.

Passengers had reportedly told gardaí the waters became choppy as the boat was rounding a point.

The boat became swamped by waves and everyone ended up in the water.

A second boat, coming to their assistance, also got into difficulties.

The first Gap boat, licensed to carry 12 people and a skipper, was submerged and bicycles along with money and cameras were reportedly lost.

“We are liaising directly with the MCIB and have furnished them with all documents,” Sgt Dermot O’Connell of Killarney gardaí confirmed.


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