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Donaghadee RNLI rescues five people stranded on the Copeland Islands

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Donaghadee RNLI put to sea last night (Wednesday 3 July) at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assist three adults and two children who had become stranded on the Copeland Islands following problems with their jet ski.

RNLI/Donaghadee

Donaghadee RNLI

The group had gone to the Copeland Islands while the sun was still out but became stranded in the early evening when their jet ski began to have mechanical issues. They used a mobile phone to try and contact both Donaghadee and Bangor lifeboat stations before contacting a crew member on their mobile phone.

The crew were paged at 7pm and made good speed in calm conditions in the RNLI Trent class lifeboat Saxon to Chapel Bay on the Big Copeland Island. The lifeboat's smaller XP boat, an inflatable tender carried by Saxon, was launched to go to the shore and bring the casualties to the warmth and safety of the larger lifeboat.

A towline was secured by the volunteer crew and the lifeboat proceeded to return to Donaghadee Harbour where the casualties were passed to the care of the Coastguard.

Speaking following the call out, Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain said: ‘I feel we got to the casualties just on time, they were starting to feel the cold after spending quite sometime in the sunshine. They didn’t have any water to hydrate or clothing to keep them warm.

'We would remind everyone of the importance of calling 999 if they are in difficulty at sea or on the coastline or if they see someone in trouble, that way the Coastguard can alert the appropriate search and rescue assets to launch. Always respect the water, always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication.'

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Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Margaret Ramm, Donaghadee RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07746633365 or Margaret.Ramm@TravelCounsellors.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

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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