Portaferry RNLI bring three men lost in thick fog to safety

Lifeboats News Release

Today (Thursday 9 June 2016) a crew of RNLI volunteers from the Portaferry Lifeboat Station went to the aid of three men, on board a four metre dory, who had become lost in thick fog close to Ballyhornan on the County Down coast.

The launch request was received from the Coastguard at 4.38pm and the Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat, an inshore Atlantic 85, launched at 4.45pm

At the time of the launch, the weather was extremely foggy with very poor visibility, a force two southerly wind and smooth sea conditions.

The three men had become lost in worsening thick fog conditions and were unsure of their exact location.
Rather than try and guess their location, they called the emergency services for help giving a rough position as somewhere between Sheepland Harbour and Guns Island, just off the County Down Coast.

The volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI headed towards the men’s general location and at first passed the three men in the thick fog. On arrival at Sheepland Harbour, however, the Lifeboat crew started to track back towards Guns Island. By this time the men on board the lost vessel had called the Coastguard once more to report that they had heard the engines of the Lifeboat passing by, helping to pinpoint their location.

The Portaferry Lifeboat crew arrived on scene with the casualty vessel at 5.15pm, close to Guns Island and attached a tow rope to vessel and proceeded to tow the three men into Ballyhornan Bay where the three men went safely ashore before the Lifeboat returned to station.

Following on the rescue, Brian Bailie, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager commented, ‘The three men made the correct decision when they called for help. They had become lost and disorientated in thick fog and rather than try to blindly find their own way to shore, they called for help and remained in the area they last believed they were. This made our job a lot easier and I am delighted that our volunteer crew have helped bring these men safely to shore.’


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Bernard Roddy, Portaferry RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Bernard.roddy@gmail.com or telephone 07717318003, or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 00353876483547, email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@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, in a normal year, 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 by email.