First Open Day at Lough Ree RNLI boathouse

Lough Ree RNLI is celebrating the first anniversary of its new €1.2m boathouse with an open day for members of the public on Saturday, June 10th, at Coosan Point, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Ever-present on the lake since 2012, the charity and its volunteers have assisted more than 1,500 people in over 500 call-outs over the past eleven years. Today, more than forty volunteers make up the response team at Lough Ree RNLI.

Starting at 11 am, the public will have an opportunity to visit and explore the new facility including the state-of-the-art boathall, crew room and the Paul Browne Room, a training room named in memory of Lough Ree RNLI’s first station mechanic.

The volunteer boat crew will also be on hand to demonstrate the launch and display the ‘on the water’ capabilities of the charity’s Atlantic B Class lifeboat the ‘Tara Scougall’. The ‘on call’ crew will also be on standby to respond to any call-out in the course of the afternoon.

Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase RNLI merchandise from the charity’s shop in the station, and light refreshments will be served. The open day concludes at 4 pm.

On the water, the June Bank Holiday was another busy one for Lough Ree RNLI.

On Sunday afternoon (June 4th) the volunteer crew responded to a call for assistance to a private cruiser with six people on board, which had ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal. Under helm Liam Sheringham, the lifeboat crew arrived on the scene just after 3 pm. Following an assessment of the scene, it was found that the boat was taking on water and it was decided not to attempt to tow the vessel off the rocks. The volunteer lifeboat crew transferred the people and their two dogs on to the ‘Tara Scougall’ and brought them to shore at Leveret Island.

On Friday (June 2nd), just after midday, the Lough Ree RNLI crew was part of a multi-agency response team, along with Gardai and the HSE Ambulance service, who stabilised and transferred a casualty with a broken leg from a cruiser at Strand Quay to a waiting ambulance. The casualty, a visitor from Germany, was taken to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe, where she was admitted for treatment.