Portaferry RNLI assists in rescue of Paddleboarder

Lifeboats News Release

Portaferry RNLI launches for second time in a week to reports of a paddleboarder adrift, near Ballyhalbert.

Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat launched at 3:20pm late this afternoon (Wednesday 4th August) in partly cloudy weather with good visibility and a force 5 southerly wind direction. Portaferry volunteer crew launched after Belfast Coastguard received a report that a paddleboarder was being blown out to sea by a strong off shore breeze at Ballyhalbert.

When on scene, the volunteer crew found that a local fishing vessel had taken hold of the casualty and the paddleboard and was awaiting the arrival of the lifeboat. The paddleboarder was taken aboard the lifeboat and then returned to Ballyhalbert harbour.

Portaferry Coastguard rescue team was also in attendance. Portaferry lifeboat crew departed the scene at 4.19pm, returning to station for service at 5.07pm,

Commenting on the call-out, Fergal Glynn, Portaferry RNLI volunteer helmsman said: ‘We understand that Stand Up Paddleboards are very popular at the moment and we are expecting to see many of them on the lough this summer. We hope that people will take the proper precautions and steps to ensure that they can enjoy them safely on the water.

If you are planning on using a paddleboard at the beach please make sure to:

§ Always choose a lifeguarded beach and launch between the black and white chequered flags.

§ Always check the tide and weather conditions before heading out

§ Always carry a means of calling for help on your person in case of an emergency.’

To find out more about how to keep safe whilst Paddleboarding, please head to RNLI.org/SUP for more information.

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 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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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