Busy Easter Sunday for Larne RNLI with two call outs in quick succession

Lifeboats News Release

Larne RNLI was called out twice yesterday evening (Sunday 21 April) to people in difficulty. In the first callout, both the all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran¸ and the inshore lifeboat, Terry¸ were called to aid two kayakers who had overturned near Browns Bay just off Islandmagee.

RNLI/Dave Sommerville

Larne ILB rescuing capsized kayakers

Larne RNLI was called out twice yesterday evening (Sunday 21 April) to people in difficulty. In the first callout, both the all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran¸ and the inshore lifeboat, Terry¸ were called to aid two kayakers who had overturned near Browns Bay just off Islandmagee. The second callout involved the all-weather lifeboat towing a 26 foot sailing boat which had run aground at the East Maidens lighthouse.

The volunteer crew launched both lifeboats at the request of Belfast Coastguard after it had been reported that two kayakers were seen struggling to get back into their kayaks. The person that reported them had observed them from the shore.

Larne RNLI launched into a calm sea at 5:45pm with the inshore lifeboat, Terry¸ tasked to bring the kayakers safely to shore, whilst the all-weather lifeboat was tasked to recover the kayaks left behind.

After a successful recovery of both casualties and their equipment, Larne RNLI Helm, Pamela Leitch, said: ‘The two kayakers were wearing buoyancy aids; they also remembered to stay with their kayaks which made it easier for us to identify them and bring them ashore.’

In their second callout, the volunteer crew launched at 6:45pm to reports of a 26-foot sailing boat which had run aground at the East Maidens lighthouse. One of the two people onboard the boat had been interested in looking around the lighthouse and had asked that they dock close to the Maidens so they could swim out and have a look around. However, while they were the docked the tide ebbed and the boat was left on rocks.

The remaining crew member was able to use their VHF radio to call for assistance from Belfast Coastguard, who requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat. When the all-weather lifeboat reached the boat they found that the casualty boat had moved off the rocks and that no damage had occurred to the hull. However, it was suggested that the casualty boat follow the all-weather lifeboat into Larne to assess any further damage.

As both boats were making their way into the port of Larne a call came in from Belfast Coastguard to ask that a tow-line be established as the casualty vessel was experiencing some engine troubles. Once a line had been established, the casualty vessel was towed into Larne Harbour where it was put onto a mooring at East Antrim boat club.

Speaking after the callouts, Larne RLIN Lifeboat Operations Manager Allan Dorman said: ‘It has been a busy day, but this is what we train for every week. I’m glad that we had a good turnout of crew and that in each instance the casualties were wearing appropriate safety gear. Coming into the warmer weather, I’d like to remind everyone to wear a lifejacket when going to sea and have a means of contacting the shore, or the coastguard.’

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Steven Lee, Larne RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07753274490 or steven_lee_1986@hotmail.com or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 10 lifeboat stations in Northern Ireland and has 11 lifeguarded beaches which it operates seasonally. 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, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.

RNLI/Dave Sommerville

Larne ALB aiding sailing boat near East Maidens

RNLI/Dave Sommerville

Larne ALB crew establishing a tow line

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.

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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.

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