Portaferry RNLI launch twice in 24 hours on Strangford Lough

Lifeboats News Release

Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat launched initially on Wednesday (25 August) at 8.33pm in partly cloudy weather with very good visibility and a force two north-westerly wind direction.

RNLI/Jordan Conway

The volunteer crew launched after Belfast Coastguard received a report from members of the public who noticed two kayakers who were thought to be in difficulty off Kilclief.

The lifeboat, helmed by Chris Adair and with two crew members onboard, launched immediately and was on scene within minutes.

When on scene, the lifeboat crew carried out a search of Strangford narrows. The volunteer crew found nothing of concern and returned to station at 9:25pm.

The lifeboat crew were launched again on Thursday (26 August) at 5.44pm in overcast weather with fair visibility and a force two south-westerly wind direction. Portaferry volunteer crew launched after Belfast Coastguard received a report from local members of the public who witnessed three people in the water after their small punt capsized.

The lifeboat, helmed by Fergal Glynn and with two crew members onboard, was on scene within minutes.

When on scene, close to the Walter rocks within Strangford lough, the lifeboat crew recovered the casualties one by one from the water. Once the volunteer crew assessed the casualties and ensured they did not require any medical assistance, they took them ashore and transferred them into the care of Portaferry coastguard rescue team. The lifeboat crew then proceeded to the capsized punt, righted it and took it under tow to Cook Street Quay.

Portaferry RNLI returned to station at 6:20pm.

Commenting on the callouts, Jordan Conway, Portaferry RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our initial callout turned out to be a false alarm with good intent. The second call out was also initiated by a concerned member of the public and we would like to thank all members of the public for being so alert and taking the appropriate action’.


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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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