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Larne and Bangor RNLI answer pager call during Storm Ophelia

Lifeboats News Release

Both Larne and Bangor RNLI were requested to launch tonight (Monday 16 October) by Belfast Coastguard during Storm Ophelia.

Trevor Hartnett

The volunteer lifeboat crew pagers sounded at 9.25pm following reports of a person in the water at Whitehead off the Antrim coast.

The sea conditions at the time were very rough with winds gusting up to 60mph. As the Larne RNLI crew assembled and made preparations to leave the Port of Larne, Belfast Coastguard cancelled the launch following confirmation from the PSNI that two females were ashore safe and well.

Larne Coastguard, Portmuck Coastguard and the PSNI were also tasked to the incident.

Speaking following the launch, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: ‘During what is extremely challenging weather conditions I am proud to say 18 volunteers answered the call immediately. This demonstrates our crew dedication to help those in distress at sea.

‘Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk. I strongly urge people to respect the water and stay away from the coastline during the storm. If you do see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Don’t enter the water yourself as you could also end up in serious danger.’

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For more information please telephone Nuala McAloon RNLI Regional Media Officer Ireland on 00353876483547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Regional Media Manager Ireland on 00353871254124 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 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.

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