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Larne RNLI rescues person in small boat that gets lost in thick fog off

Lifeboats News Release

Larne RNLI came to the aid of a person on Saturday night (2 September) following a request by Belfast Coastguard that a 3.5 metre rigid inflatable was lost in thick fog while underway to Donaghadee.

RNLI/Steven Lee

Larne all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran

Larne RNLI came to the aid of a person on Saturday night (2 September) following a request by Belfast Coastguard that a 3.5 metre rigid inflatable was lost in thick fog while underway to Donaghadee.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran, at 10.24pm into calm seas with very little visibility and made their way towards the last reported location of the casualty vessel, south of the Copeland Islands.

Conducting a search proved challenging as the lifeboat crew didn’t have a specific landmark to pursue. The crew members illuminated the area using flares to try and detect the casualty vessel, however, the fog was causing visibility to be severely reduced.

The search continued until further information was received detailing an earlier position of the casualty boat. The navigator onboard used this information and calculated an estimated position of the vessel, considering tidal flow and wind speeds. Using this estimated position, the radar operator was able to identify a small target near to the position.

The lifeboat made its way to the scene and found the casualty standing in the boat waving their arms to raise the alarm. The crew proceeded to transfer the casualty onto the lifeboat where they were then checked to make sure they were safe and well. The casualty was made comfortable and warm.

Meanwhile, the crew secured the rigid inflatable boat and brought both back to the safety of Bangor marina.

Larne RNLI’s Coxswain Frank Healy speaking after the call out said: ‘This was an excellent response from our volunteer crew for a late night call in an area we don’t usually get called to. Everyone did their job and we have had a successful outcome.

‘We would encourage anyone planning a trip to sea to always bring a means of communication with them such as a VHF radio or a mobile phone and make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you are due back, and always remember to contact 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard should any issues arise.’

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Steven Lee, Larne RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on07753274490 or [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 00353 876483547 or [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254124 or [email protected]

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For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 10 lifeboat stations in Northern Ireland and has 11 lifeguarded beaches which it operates seasonally. 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, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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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