Newcastle RNLI respond to four call outs in busy day for volunteer lifeboat crew
Newcastle RNLI responded to four call outs last Friday and came to the aid of two people.
The volunteer crew were first requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.36am on Friday morning (16 July) and go to the aid of two men on a small boat which had broken down after experiencing difficulties off Newcastle. The vessel was towed back to its mooring at Newcastle Harbour.
At 12.40pm on Friday, the station’s all-weather lifeboat crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to conduct a search after a number of personal possessions including a swimmer’s robe, were discovered a short distance from the lifeboat station. Shortly after the lifeboat was launched, it was stood down when it was ascertained the items had been on the rocks for several days.
Later at 6.53pm, both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were requested to launch following a report to Belfast Coastguard from a member of the public that they had lost sight of a man that had entered the water after his dog at Murlough Beach in the Dundrum area. As the lifeboats were about to launch, they were stood down as the man had managed to make it ashore.
At 9.14pm on Friday, both lifeboats were again requested to launch following a report that a parachutist had lost control and crashed into the water, south of Newcastle Harbour. Extensive searches were carried out, with assistance from a Coastguard helicopter from Wales, as well as local Coastguard teams. During the search, lifeboat crew spotted a large deflated helium balloon which was retrieved from the sea. The search was subsequently stood down.
Speaking following the call outs, Lisa Ramsden, Newcastle RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It has been a busy period for the station and I would like to commend our volunteer team and our colleagues in the various emergency services for their efforts. Some of these call outs transpired to be false alarms with good intent and we want to thank those who raised the alarm. We would always much rather launch and find that all is well than not launch at all.
‘As we continue to enjoy some glorious weather, we would like to remind everyone to enjoy themselves but to always respect the water as they do. Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device and always carry a means of communication. Always let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’
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.