Larne RNLI rescue three missing divers north of The Gobbins
Volunteer lifeboat crew at Larne RNLI responded to a launch request from the UK Coastguard this evening (Wednesday 8 June) to help search for three overdue divers near Blackhead Lighthouse.
The initial alarm was raised at 5.30pm to report three divers who were 40 minutes overdue. Larne All-weather lifeboat launched followed by Larne inshore lifeboat and the crews were quickly on scene in the Blackhead Area to commence the search. The major multiagency search was coordinated by the coastguard and included Bangor RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, four shipping vessels, two boats from Whitehead Yacht club and Larne, Portmuck and Bangor coastguard teams.
The weather conditions of calm seas with thick banks of rolling fog caused poor visibility and challenging search conditions.
Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat located the three divers at 6.50pm on a cliff face north of The Gobbins. The divers were recovered into the lifeboat and did not require medical assistance however they were fatigued, hungry and thirsty. Larne All-weather lifeboat then took the divers onboard and transferred them safely back to Belfast Coastal Operations Centre in Bangor.
Larne RNLI Operations Manager Allan Dorman said 'Conditions were very challenging with visibility down to about fifteen metres. The divers did the right thing and stayed together. We were fearful as time passed and our lifeboat crews were still searching the area with no sightings but thankfully the tide took them north and to nearby rocks. They were exhausted when they were finally located and recovered onto the inshore lifeboat. We are extremely thankful that the callout ended well with everyone accounted for and safely recovered. Our thanks to everyone involved in the search.’
RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Fiona Kirkpatrick Larne RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 077 3805 9405 email Fiona_Kirkpatrick@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 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.