A small boat with two people on board that got into difficulty off the Clare coast on Monday afternoon was towed to safety by the Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat.
The Aran crew was requested to deal with the incident as the Irish Coast Guard unit based at nearby Doolin has been stood down pending resolution of issues at the station.
The alarm was raised at around 3.30pm when the two-person crew of the half-deck boat suffered technical problems in Liscannor Bay.
The crew contacted watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub-centre on Valentia Island in Kerry. Staff there mounted a rescue operation.
The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, was requested to make its way to the area and investigate the problem. The helicopter had been in the air on a training mission at the time and made its way to the scene.
In the meantime, the Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat was tasked to proceed to the scene from its base on Inis Mór.
The helicopter crew located the boat just south of Liscannor a short distance from the harbour. The occupants of the vessel confirmed they were in no immediate danger but required to be towed into harbour. The occupants were advised that the lifeboat was on its way.
The volunteer RNLI crew reached the scene at around 5.15pm and towed the casualty vessel into the safety of Liscannor Harbour.
It was the second call in the area since the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard was taken out of service at the beginning of the month. The Doolin unit was stood down on November 1 after six volunteers resigned.
In the meantime, while a mediator has been appointed to try and resolve the issues in Doolin, a number of other search and rescue (SAR) stakeholders in the area have been requested to provide cover for services that otherwise would be provided by the Doolin unit.
It’s understood that these stakeholders include the Kilkee Coast Guard unit; Kilrush RNLI in-shore lifeboat; the Aran Islands RNLI all-weather lifeboat; Clare County Fire and Rescue Service; the Naval Service Diving; the Garda Water Unit and the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation.