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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Coastguard and RNLI launch to double incident on County Antrim coast

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Coastguard Rope Rescue Team operating at cliff edge

HM Coastguard along with RNLI lifeboats were tasked to two incidents on the County Antrim coast on Sunday evening, 3 September.

Both Ballycastle and Coleraine Coastguard Teams responded shortly after 7pm to reports of a casualty stuck on a cliff face beside a caravan park off Clare Road, north of Ballycastle Marina.

The casualty was clinging to a narrow ledge 20 feet from the top of a 150 foot cliff and in immediate danger of falling. A rope rescue technician was lowered down the cliff face and secured the casualty before they were both winched to the cliff top.

RNLI confirmed that Red Bay Lifeboat launched its inshore craft at 7.11pm to the same incident.

An RNLI spokesperson commented:

"The inshore lifeboat launched and made its way to the scene where on arrival they observed the casualty halfway up the cliffs.

"Ballycastle and Coleraine Coastguard’s shore crew were also tasked and went to the casualty’s aid, bringing them to a place of safety while Red Bay’s lifeboat stood by until the operation was safely concluded."

Coastguard vehicle parked on grass verge at dusk

Thankfully the casualty was uninjured.

The Coleraine Coastguard Team was immediately re-tasked to a medical emergency where a person had been recovered from the sea at Portrush West Strand beach. R199 helicopter from Prestwick, Scotland had been inbound to assist at Ballycastle but was diverted to Portrush.

It was reported locally that the person had got into difficulty after being caught in a rip tide.

Commenting on the incident at West Strand, a spokesperson for HM Coastguard said:

"HM Coastguard responded to reports of a person in difficulty in the water in the West Strand Blackrocks Beach area, Portrush, yesterday (3 September).

Alerted at around 8pm, Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team, lifeboats from Portrush and the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick were sent to the scene, alongside Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Police Service of Northern Ireland."

Both Portrush RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched to the emergency.

An RNLI spokesperson confirmed "the casualty was assisted to shore by surfers. The inshore lifeboat crew assisted with casualty care while the all-weather lifeboat stood by.

"The casualty was subsequently handed into the care of an ambulance crew on arrival and transferred to hospital."

UPDATE: It has been confirmed the man who was pulled from the water by surfers, has since passed away.



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