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Killaloe Coast Guard appeal after access to base blocked

KILLALOE Coast Guard has repeated its plea to motorists to stop blocking access to its station on the shores of Lough Derg.

Amid record temperatures in recent days, visitors flocked to Killaloe to enjoy the water-based amenities. The parking situation in the Pier Head area was described by the coast guard as “unbelievable”, with blatant disregard for signage asking people to keep the entrance to the rescue base clear. The heatwave proved to be a particularly busy time for the coast guard. Volunteers had to respond to a number of calls and found themselves hampered by the presence of abandoned vehicles on approach routes and in front of the entrance to their station.

Last Wednesday (July 21), while responding to a call about a vessel disrupting a swimming area, the coast guard encountered a series of obstructions.

“While our crews were responding to this call-out the entrance to Pier head was again blocked by cars [that had] been abandoned in the middle of the access road,” a statement from Killaloe Coast Guard said. “When this was finally cleared our response vehicle was again blocked exiting the station with another car. On returning from the incident the road was also blocked meaning our volunteers could not get back into the station until cars had been moved.”

Several callouts involving jet ski riders putting themselves and other water-users in danger in the Killaloe-Ballina and Two Mile Gate areas were responded to. Numerous safety and rescue activities were again hampered.

“The parking leading into Pier Head over the past week has been unbelievable to say the least, despite having signs up reminding people it’s emergency service access people still choose to ignore them,” Killaloe Coast Guard said. “We would again plead with people to stop blocking our access to the Coast Guard station and park responsibly. Every second counts when responding to emergency calls.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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