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Portrush RNLI launched to reports of Paddleboarder in difficulty

Lifeboats News Release

Portrush RNLI was requested to launch on Saturday 23rd October by Belfast Coastguard to reports of two paddleboarders in difficulty approximately 600 metres off Portstewart Strand.

RNLI/Judy Nelson

Alice Rohdich and Martin O'Kane with Dee the Little Lifeboat

Portrush RNLI was requested to launch on Saturday 23rd October by Belfast Coastguard to reports of two paddleboarders in difficulty approximately 600 metres off Portstewart Strand.

The Inshore Lifeboat launched at 2.32pm and arrived on scene at 2.44pm. Visibility was fair, choppy seas and squally showers with a southerly wind.

The volunteer crew quickly located the two paddleboarders on one board, and were able to get both safely back to shore, were they were handed into the care of the local coastguard team.

Ironically at the time the pagers were activated the crew were supporting their Lifeboat Medical Officer, Dr Martin O’Kane at the launch of his book ‘Dee the Little Lifeboat’

Dr O’Kane has written the book as a fundraiser for the station and is illustrated by local artist Alice Rohdich, who also happens to the wife of ex Lifeboat crew member, Damian.

The assembled guests of local MLAs, councillors, journalists and friends were treated the sound of several pagers being activated and a scramble of yellow clad volunteer lifeboat crew running out the door towards the lifeboat house- A very dramatic start to a wonderful book launch.

Judy Nelson Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said;-

‘I could not have timed this shout any better if I had tried. This certainly showed people how quickly the crew respond to the pager and to see them all running for the door certainly added to the drama. It certainly helped to reinforce how important our fundraising events are – to support our volunteer crew to save all lives at sea.

We would always advise that before people undertake any kind of activity around the coast to check weather and tide conditions. Make sure you have means of contacting help as well as having the proper equipment such as lifejackets etc. More information can be downloaded from www.rnli.org/safety.

Copies of ‘Dee the Little Lifeboat’ can be ordered from www.deethelittlelifeboat.com

All proceeds are going to Portrush RNLI

Ends

RNLI/Una Culkin

Three of Portrush RNLI Crew

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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

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