RNLI lifeguards rescue two body boarders in heavy swell at Whiterocks beach

Lifeboats News Release

In a dramatic rescue on Whiterocks beach in Portrush yesterday (Sunday 17 July) three RNLI lifeguards rescued two body boarders from rocks.

In waves that reached well over head height the lifeguards launched their Rescue Water Craft and brought the two men to safety. The rescue occurred during one of the hottest days of the year which brought hundreds of people to the coast to enjoy the good weather.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm when a member of the public contacted RNLI Lifeguard Stephen Parish to say that two body boarders where trapped at the mouth of a cave at the east end of the beach.  Steven and his two colleagues on duty, Ali Boyd and Bosco McAuley, were finishing an exercise when the call for help was made and they immediately swung into action. 

RNLI lifeguard Ali Boyd drove the Rescue Water Craft while Bosco McAuley accompanied him as crew.  They proceeded to the scene some 500 metres offshore where a heavy swell made it impossible to bring the rescue craft close to the trapped pair.  With the waves breaking over the men’s heads, the lifeguards waited until there was a lull in the set before Bosco jumped into the water and swam to the rocks.  The first man went into the water and was brought by Bosco to the waiting rescue craft. The three of them immediately returned to shore before the two lifeguards headed straight back to the scene to recover the second casualty.

By this time the second man was showing signs of exhaustion and the lifeguards kept a tight hold of him as they recovered him, with Bosco once again swimming out to him while Ali kept the rescue water craft close-by, circling to ensure he stayed clear of the waves and avoided the rocks.

When back on shore both men were brought to the Lifeguard hut and were administered casualty care. 

Commenting on the callout RNLI lifeguard Bosco McAuley said, ‘It was a busy day on the beach yesterday and we are always conscious that there can be things happening anywhere at anytime.  We had just finished an exercise and were able to launch the Rescue Water Craft immediately.  Despite the warm day, the sea swell was huge with massive waves breaking over the heads of the body boarders as they waited on rocks. They had managed to scramble on these rocks when they got into difficulty and were able to wait for help. This was a rescue where every second counted and thankfully these two men are now home safe and well.’


RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 1 8900 460 or 00 353 87 1254 124 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.