Busy bank holiday for Larne RNLI with two consecutive callouts

Lifeboats News Release

Larne RNLI’s volunteer crew were kept busy with two call outs in quick succession this bank holiday Monday (26 August 2019).

Requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 2:10pm after reports of an inflatable drifting out to sea at Ballygally beach, the inshore lifeboat, Terry, launched into a calm sea and made their way towards the inflatable's last reported position.

After conducting a brief search of the area, the inflatable was recovered by the inshore lifeboat crew who deflated it to bring it into shore where the inflatable was passed back to the owner and the volunteer crew offered some advice on water safety.

While recovering the inshore lifeboat at East Antrim boat club, reports came through from the Portmuck Coastguard mobile team, of a paddle boarder who had got into difficulty just off Muck Island, near islandmagee.

Relaunching at 3:30pm, the volunteer crew made their way towards Muck Island to see if they could find the casualty. As they approached the island, they were stopped by a passing jet skier who pointed the crew in the direction of the paddle boarder. When the crew reached the boarder, they discovered that the man had been on the water with his two daughters and they hadn’t realised that the currents had been taking them further out to sea.

One of the girls made it back to the shore, but the father and his other daughter were finding it to be quite challenging. Thankfully, the jet skier realised the issues they were having and offered to take the young girl back into the shore, with the father contacting his family on the beach and they in turn contacting the Coastguard for assistance.

When the volunteer crew reached the casualty, they discovered that he had been fighting the currents for 45 minutes and was quite tired. After assessing him for any injuries he and his board were brought into Portmuck at Islandmagee.

Inshore lifeboat helm, Pamela Leitch said, ‘Please be aware of the strong currents and crosswinds around our coastline. It doesn’t take much for someone to get into real difficulty when they are blown out to sea. If you see someone who is struggling at sea, remember to call 999 or 112 and ask for 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

RNLI/Jack Healy

Larne ILB heading toward Ballygally

RNLI/Jack Healy

Inflatable unicorn

RNLI/Jack Healy

Larne ILB heading to Muck Island

RNLI/Jack Healy

Paddle boarder sighted

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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