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Portaferry RNLI launch to the aid of five men on board seven metre yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Portaferry RNLI responded for the second time in 48 hours to a launch request this evening, Thursday 4 May 2017, to go to the aid of five men on board a seven metre yacht experiencing difficulty on Strangford Lough.

Portaferry RNLI on exercise


Portaferry RNLI on exercise

The volunteer crew were paged at 8.41pm and the RNLI Lifeboat, an inshore Atlantic 85, was on the water only minutes later at 8.45pm.

The RNLI volunteers headed towards the reported location of the casualty which was just north of Don O’Neill Island in Strangford Lough County Down.

The Lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 8.52pm where the weather was clear with good visibility, though a force six north easterly was creating choppy sea conditions with a moderate two metre swell.

The five men on the sailing boat had experienced some heavy going and though they were in no longer in any immediate danger, the crew of the lifeboat made the decision to remain with them and escort the five men into the safe waters of Ringhaddy Sound.

Once the RNLI crew had established that the five crew members on board the yacht were safe in the calmer waters at Ringhaddy and that their boat was not experiencing any problems, the volunteer crew departed the scene at 9.15pm and returned to station.


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Bernard Roddy, Portaferry RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at or telephone 07717318003, or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 00353876483547, email or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124 or

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