Portaferry RNLI rescue kayaker who gets into difficulty at Walter Rock
Portaferry RNLI rescued a kayaker who got into difficulty on Strangford Lough last night (Wednesday 5 August).
The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 11.22pm after members of the public who heard the casualty calling for help, raised the alarm.
The lifeboat helmed by Chris Adair and with crew members George Toma and Fergal Glynn onboard, launched immediately and was on scene within eight minutes.
The crew were aided on arrival at the lifeboat station by members of the public who pointed to where the casualty was a short distance away at Walter Rock in the Narrows of Strangford Lough.
While dark, weather conditions at the time were good with a flat calm sea, a flooding tide, and a Force 2 westerly wind.
Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed the casualty who was in the water for approximately 15-30 minutes, was clinging to his upturned kayak.
The lifeboat went alongside the kayak and the crew took the casualty who was otherwise safe, onboard and made him comfortable before returning to the shore where he was passed into the care of Portaferry Coastguard. Bangor Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service also attended. The lifeboat crew then returned to the water to recover the casualty’s kayak.
Speaking following the call out, Jordan Conway, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We would like to commend the members of the public who raised the alarm last night which ensured we reached the casualty in good time.
‘As the summer season continues, we remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Wear a personal flotation device and check the weather and tides. Tell someone where you are going and when you are due back and always wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and your trip.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Nuala McAloon, RNLI Ireland Media Officer on 00353 87 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Ireland Media Manager on 00353 87 1254 124 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, 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.