Coastguard warns of dinghy dangers after launching to incident on Bann
HM Coastguard has warned the public of the dangers of using inflatable dinghies on open water after being tasked to the scene of an incident on Thursday afternoon, 13 April.
Coleraine Coastguard team rushed to the scene on the River Bann near Sandleforde Bridge, Coleraine, after a member of the public called 999 concerned for safety of four people paddling in a small inflatable dinghy.
According to the coastguard, at the time when the alarm was raised there was a strong wind and conditions were rough.
A spokesperson for Coleraine Coastguard said:
"On our arrival, the four had made shore at Christie Park. They had no buoyancy aids and were dressed in normal clothing. They were “trying it out” before taking it to the beach and were unaware of the danger they had been in.
The spokesperson added:
"These inflatable dinghies, sold often at local supermarkets, are totally unsuitable for use in the open sea, or rivers and lakes. Buoyancy aids must be worn together with suitable clothing.
"If you see anyone in difficulty on the water, dial 999 and ask for the COASTGUARD."