Lough Derg RNLI was called into action over the holiday weekend to investigate reports of an unoccupied dinghy drifting in open water on the lake.
However, having discovered the craft on Sunday evening, it was decided that the boat had not been occupied. A boat owner later contacted Valentia Coast Guard to inform them his tender had broken free in bad weather.
Lough Derg RNLI deputy launching authority Pat Garland said: “A small craft adrift in the middle of the lake has implications other than the boat might have slipped its moorings, which, thankfully, was the case.” He commended the boat users for reporting the incident.
The lifeboat had been called out at 6.35pm by the Coast Guard to investigate reports of a dinghy adrift in open water in the direction of Meelik Bay on the Clare Shore.
Winds were south westerly, Force 3 to 4, visibility was fair to good, with frequent squalls. Valentia Coast Guard gave the lifeboat crew the co-ordinates at which the dinghy was seen, and a description of the boat. The lifeboat reached the location at 7pm and calculated its drift given its size and the wind direction.
On the shore where the dinghy would have landed, a remote location, the RNLI crew observed an oar being raised and lowered above the reeds, and went to investigate. A local family of five, two adults and three children, on a fishing trip, had seen the dinghy and had towed it to shore.
The dinghy did not have an engine and there was no evidence of it having been occupied. Reporting its findings to Valentia Coast Guard, the lifeboat was stood down.