Portaferry RNLI launch on Father’s Day to reports of upturned boat
Portaferry RNLI launched to reports of an upturned boat off Ardglass this evening (Sunday 21 June)
Portaferry’s volunteer crew were celebrating Father’s Day when paged by Belfast Coastguard.
The crew launched promptly at 9.17pm in cloudy but good visibility conditions and swiftly made their way to Ardglass.
Arriving on scene at 9.50pm, the crew began searching the area for the upturned boat. After a detailed search of the area the crew unfortunately discovered the reported sighting of a boat was in fact a dead whale that was floating on the surface of the Irish Sea.
The volunteer crew communicated with Belfast Coastguard who also confirmed the crew's discovery of the dead whale. Once all agencies were confident that no human lives were in danger, the crew departed the scene at 10.15pm and made their way round to Strangford Lough, ready for service again at 11.15pm.
Commenting on the call-out, Graham Edgar, Portaferry RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘This was an unfortunate conclusion of the search. However we are glad that no lives were in danger. Belfast Coastguard will report the whale as a hazard to navigation to ensure all other vessels in the area will be aware of the remains.’
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.