Portaferry RNLI launch to a group of kayakers in difficulty
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of multiple kayakers who got into difficulty near Killyleagh yesterday morning (Saturday 7 March).
Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched promptly at 10:47am and made their way to Don O’Neill Island, near Killyleagh in Strangford Lough. The crew launched in cloudy weather conditions with good visibility and a force four south westerly wind direction.
When on scene at 10:53am, the weather conditions were cloudy with good visibility and a slight sea state.The crew travelled north for less than a mile where they noticed four other persons with a green Canadian kayak. three of the persons were in the boat which had taken on water and one person was in the water holding on the side of the boat. The crew recovered all four persons and took them in on the lifeboat.
The volunteer crew then went ashore Don O’Neill Island and recovered the two persons. All six persons were taken ashore to Killyleagh and transferred them to the care of the coastguard rescue teams. The lifeboat crew then stood off Taggart Island while a further two persons were winched and assessed by the paramedics from the Rescue 199 helicopter. The crew also recovered two green Canadian canoes, two kayaks and the personal belongings off the persons off the Don O’Neill Island.
Portaferry RNLI, HM Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199, Portaferry and Bangor coastguard team, the Ambulance Service and the air ambulance were all involved in the effort to get everyone to safety.
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.