Volunteer lifeboat crew with Lough Ree RNLI were called out twice in 24 hours to assist grounded yachts in the Wood Shoal area.

The incidents have prompted an RNLI warning for mariners in the area to use caution and listen take advice on where there are submerged rocks.

The first callout for the lifeboat crew came after midday on Tuesday, 29 March, to reports of a cruiser with 10 people onboard grounded at Mouse Ear Rock.

A lifeboat crewmember boarded the yacht and assessed it for damage.  There was a strong vibration from the engine and it was suspected that there may be damage to the propeller.

The lifeboat crew took the cruiser under tow to Portrunney were it could be checked over for damage.

The second callout came the next day, Thursday 30 March, at 3.35pm and was again to a grounded vessel, this time at Iskeraulin Shoal, south of Quaker.

There were six people onboard. Upon arrival at the scene at 4.06pm the lifeboat crew again assessed if there was any damage to the cruiser.

When it was confirmed that everything was working they helped the cruiser free of the rocks and monitored its progress by travelling alongside it for a time. When they were satisfied there was no further difficulty they departed the scene and returned to the station.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Damien Delaney said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew had a busy 24 hours. We would urge everyone using Lough Ree to ensure they are familiar with the area and to take heed of any warnings for rocks.

‘Grounded vessels are not unusual but with any callout there are a number of factors that should be considered such as weather and the right equipment. Make sure you have a suitable means of calling for help and that you have the proper clothing and a lifejacket. You never know when you will need to call for help.’