Tour boat with 14 passengers rescued at Ireland's Eye

By Elaine McCahill

A DRAMATIC rescue took place yesterday at Ireland's Eye when a passenger boat carrying 14 passengers and two crew, became stranded on the rocks on the north side of the island.

Luckily for the passengers and crew of the stricken boat, Mark Molloy of Island Ferries was operating another tour nearby and responded to their Mayday call.

Mark told the Herald that had he not been in the area and responded so quickly, the situation could have been a lot worse.

"When I heard the Mayday, I contacted the Howth Lifeboat to let them know that I was nearby and that I could respond. They told me make sure that the boat hadn't been holed or was not taking on water before I towed the boat off the rocks."


Mark continued: "It was very choppy conditions, the stern was on the rocks and because the tide was going out, the boat was already lifting. If I hadn't been able to tow the boat to safety, it could have tipped over on its side and everyone would have ended up in the water."

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted at 3.25pm and Howth RNLI were at the scene within five minutes.

Mark held the passenger boat in position while the lifeboat crew proceeded to transfer all of the tourists from the passenger boat safely onto the lifeboat.

Once the group was on board the lifeboat crew established a tow line and returned the vessel and its occupants safely to Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Howth RNLI Coxswain Fred Connolly said: 'We are pleased to report that all on board the passenger boat which got into difficulty this afternoon have been returned safe and well to the shore. No medical assistance was required."


Elsewhere a diver died 
after getting into difficulty in the sea off the west 

The man - believed to be in his 50s - was in the water at Inishbofin island off the Co Galway coast.

He got into difficulty and was airlifted by the Coastguard to Castlebar but was pronounced dead in Mayo General Hospital.