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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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 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.

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