Three RNLI lifeboats help in multi-agency search
Three RNLI lifeboats from Bangor, Donaghadee and Larne were today involved with a multi-agency search with two Coastguard helicopters, Lagan Search and Rescue, PSNI Lifeboat and local Coastguard Rescue Teams.
After reports of a paddleboarder overdue at Helen’s Bay, Belfast Coastguard requested the volunteer crew members from Bangor inshore lifeboat to launch at 3.43pm followed by the two all-weather lifeboats from Donaghadee and Larne at 4.24pm.
The three lifeboats liaised with Belfast Coastguard and the other rescue agencies to form search patterns in order to locate the missing paddleboarder.
The visibility was good albeit light was being lost, conditions were challenging out at sea with a west to north-west wind force 6-8 at times.
Search teams were stood down just before 6pm when clarification was received that the suspected casualty was safe and well.
Margaret Ramm, Donaghadee Lifeboat Press Officer, commented: ‘We were relieved to hear that this was a false alarm with good intent, that the paddleboarder had been located and was not in any danger. Conditions today were challenging enough and if there had been a person in the water, time really was of the essence in order to prevent loss of life.
‘Always contact the emergency services as early as possible if you are worried. As always, we recommend checking sea conditions and wind direction before going into the sea and carrying a means of contacting shore, and being aware of your own capabilities.’
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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