Newcastle RNLI respond to two call outs in 24 hours bringing four people to safe
Newcastle RNLI has come to the aid of four people in separate calls out over a 24 period.
The volunteers pagers first sounded at 4.10pm on Wednesday (12 July) when Belfast Coastguard requested the crew to go to the aid of two people on a broken down jet ski in Newcastle Bay.
The inshore lifeboat, Eliza, helmed by Locky Leneghan for the first time and with crew members Trez Dennison and Ciaran Leneghan onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene.
Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a force 2 northerly wind.
Once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and found that both people were safe and well. A decision was then made to take the two onboard the lifeboat where they were checked over and reassured. They were then brought back to Newcastle Harbour with the jet-ski under tow.
Then yesterday (Thursday 13 July), the crew were once again paged and requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch and go to the aid of two people on a 19ft boat that had encounter engine problems close to Ballyhoran Beach.
The all-weather lifeboat launched under Coxswain Gerry McConkey and with 5 crew members onboard and made its way to the scene, reaching the boat at approximately 5.25pm in a force 4, southerly wind. The crew assessed the situation and decided to take the two onboard where they were checked over and reassured. The lifeboat crew then worked to establish a tow before bringing the boat to the nearest safe port at Ardglass Harbour where it was handed into the care of Portaferry Coastguard. After a welfare break, the all-weather lifeboat left Ardglass, returned to Newcastle station where it was refuelled and ready for service at 9pm.
Speaking following both call outs, Sean McConkey, Newcastle RNLI Launch Authority, said: ‘It has been a busy 24 hours for the station but the crew have been delighted to help. We want to wish all four well, the jet-ski crew did the right thing in having a means of communication and raising the alarm, that is the right thing to do, and the people onboard the boat yesterday were able to make contact with the Coastguard immediately when they realised there was a problem, allowing for a prompt launch of the lifeboat.‘We also want to commend our own Locky Leneghan who had his first call out on Wednesday since becoming a helm. Locky has been on the lifeboat crew for 2 years and has worked hard in recent months to complete his training and assessments to make this milestone which is a wonderful personal achievement for him and great news for the station.’
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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