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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Larne RNLI assists five paddleboarders and two fishermen in two call outs in quick succession

Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat Terry

Larne RNLI has come to the aid of five paddleboarders and two fisherman in back-to-back call outs in quick succession.

The volunteer crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch their inshore lifeboat, Terry, to two separate incidents in the Larne area on Wednesday (6th September).

The crew launched the lifeboat from East Antrim Boat Club at 4.32pm on a hot day into a calm sea and made their way towards the first reported incident where five paddleboarders were reported to be in difficulty between Portmuck Harbour and Brown’s Bay in Islandmagee.

The casualties were located quickly and the crew recovered two of the paddleboarders into the lifeboat and escorted the remaining three back into Portmuck harbour, ensuring that all the casualties were safe and well. Upon return to the safety of the harbour they were handed over into the care of the Portmuck Coastguard team.

As the lifeboat was being recovered from the water, a pan-pan call came in from a small fishing vessel that had broken down in Drain’s Bay.

Belfast Coastguard requested the lifeboat to attend the call and the crew launched the lifeboat and quickly made their way on scene.

Two people onboard the fishing boat were found to be safe and well but had been struggling to start the engine of the boat.

The lifeboat established a tow line and brought the casualty back to the nearest safe port at Ballylumford Harbour.

Speaking after the call outs, Larne RNLI Helm Barry Kirkpatrick, said:

"With the weather being so warm this week it has been an excellent opportunity to cool off by the sea, however it is essential that you remember to respect the water.

"We urge anyone planning a trip to the coast, beach, or inland waters over the weekend to stay safe amid the continued good spell of warm weather forecast. Enjoy yourself but please be mindful of your personal safety.

"Check weather and tide times before venturing out on the water and always check local signage for safety and hazards. Always carry a means of communication such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and let someone know where you are going and when you are due back.

"If you find yourself in a rip current, do not swim against or it or you will get exhausted. If you can, stand up and wade, or swim parallel to the shore until you are free of the rip, then head to shore. If you can, raise your hand and call for help – and remember, to Float to Live if you can’t make it back or become too tired. To do this, tilt your head back with ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and call for help or swim to safety if you can.

"If you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard."


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