Portaferry RNLI launch to two callouts in two hours

Lifeboats News Release

Portaferry RNLI launched to the aid of three casualties in the space of two hours.

Portaferry launch on service twice in as many hours


Portaferry launch on service twice in as many hours

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched promptly at 5:59pm and made their way seven miles out from Strangford narrows to the Irish Sea. The crew launched in good weather conditions with good visibility, smooth sea state and a force three westerly wind direction.

The crew launched to assist a female sea swimmer who had got into difficulty close to Killough pier. A local RIB provided assistance and brought the swimmer ashore and transferred into the care of the waiting emergency services.

The lifeboat stood down at 6:40pm and made their way back to Strangford to carry out their weekly exercise.

While out on exercise, the volunteer crew received reports of two paddleboarders in difficulty off Kilard Point.

The two were paddling against tide after they drifted a mile out from Kilcief beach. The casualties were spotted by near by kayakers, who made the decision to call the Coastguard.

While on scene, the volunteer crew helped the casualties onboard the lifeboat and brought ashore to Strangford Pier.

Commenting on the call-outs, Josh Boyd, Portaferry RNLI Helm said: ‘Clear information made it very straightforward for us to locate the two paddleboarders in the nick of time. With tide pulling the two further away from the shore, it was absolutely the correct thing for the kayakers to do in calling for help. As the weather gets warmer and more people travel to the coast, we would remind everyone planning a trip to sea or an activity on the water, to always carry a means of communication so they have a way of contacting the shore and to always wear a lifejacket.'

RNLI safety tips for paddleboarding:

· Avoid going alone, where possible

· Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back

· Check the weather forecast and avoid offshore winds

· Wear a suitable personal floatation device and clothing for the time of year

· Get the appropriate level of training

· Use a paddleboard with an appropriate leash


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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