Larne RNLI came to the aid of a group of paddleboarders yesterday (Sunday 8 May).
The volunteer crew were requested to launch their in-shore lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 2.09pm following a report that five people on two paddelboards had been caught in an offshore breeze and were struggling to get back to shore.
The lifeboat, Terry, was launched from East Antrim Boat Club into a moderate sea with an offshore breeze and made its way to the last reported location of the casualties at the entrance of Brown’s Bay off Islandmagee.
Having located the casualties and their paddleboards towards the middle of Brown’s Bay, the lifeboat crew observed that the offshore breeze was blowing both boards out to sea and that the casualties were having difficulty trying to return to safety.
Two of the group managed to make their own way back to the safety of the beach unaided, while the remaining three were transferred into the lifeboat.
Upon returning the casualties and their paddleboards to Brown’s Bay beach, they were handed into the care of Portmuck’s Coastguard team.
Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Helm Scott Leitch, said:
“We are very grateful to the member of the public who realised that something was wrong and called 999 and asked for the Coastguard and we were delighted to help.
“As the weather gets warmer and more people travel to the coast, we would remind everyone planning a trip to sea or an activity on the water, to always carry a means of communication so they have a way of contacting the shore and to always wear a lifejacket or flotation device.”