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Bangor RNLI rescues three and thrills thousands

Lifeboats News Release

Saturday 6 August was a busy day for Bangor RNLI.

A scheduled visit to Donaghadee to take part in an exercise with Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat Saxon and HM Coastguard helicopter G-MCGG, took an unexpected turn when the crew was asked to attend a broken down jetski, stranded on rocks off Millisle.

Bangor’s volunteer crew were able to bring the jetski rider on board inshore lifeobat Jessie Hillyard, and tow the jetski back to Millisle.

One of Bangor RNLI's experienced helms, James Gillespie, said later 'There was a reasonably strong offshore wind, and the gentleman, having beached the jetski in shallows around rocks, was in no immediate danger.  However he was lucky not to have broken down in open water.  We would urge the public to take precautions in case the worst happens and you break down or have an accident.'

Having completed the rescue, Bangor’s lifeboat crew then returned to Donaghadee with minutes to spare before the planned helicopter rescue exercise.  After rendezvousing with their Donaghadee colleagues, it was only minutes before the large crowd gathered on Donaghadee Pier were able to see the helicopter approach and complete the safe transfer of two Bangor crewmen to the Donaghadee boat.

Anyone viewing the spectacle could only marvel at the skill involved in controlling the movements of different craft in challenging conditions.  After a final flypast to wave to the enthralled crowd, the helicopter headed off, leaving all involved with invaluable experience.

Even then, though, Bangor’s crew had a further surprise as, on their return to Bangor, they were tasked with going to the assistance of two men who had run aground on their fishing boat off Kilroot Power station.  With the help of two strong crewmembers they were able to refloat the vessel and return all safely to Carrickfergus marina.


RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Mark Johnston Bangor RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 07976 256655  email: or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 87 1254 124 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland