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Rescue operation launched after boat bursts into flames on Co Antrim coast

Boat on fire at sea

Images: McAuley Multimedia


A rescue operation was launched off the County Antrim coast this evening, Monday 14 August, after a boat burst into flames a few miles off shore.


It is reported that the vessel was travelling in waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island when the incident occurred. The boat was carrying two people at the time.



The alarm was raised shortly after 8pm. It is understood the two people onboard jumped into the sea before being rescued by a passing boat.


Ambulance parked in harbour

RNLI Redbay launched in response to the incident. The lifeboat crews transported the casualties back to Ballycastle Harbour where they were passed into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.


A spokesperson for RNLI said:


"While on exercise this evening, Red Bay RNLI from Cushendall were tasked by the coastguard to an incident south of Rathlin Island. Two men were reported in the water after a fire broke out on their 18ft speedboat.

 


"Both the All Weather and inshore lifeboats were on exercise at the time of the callout, which came in at 8.11pm and were quickly on scene."


The two men who were in the water, were rescued by a passing yacht and then transferred to the Red Bay inshore lifeboat and brought back to Ballycastle, were they were met by the coastguard. Conditions at the time were described as calm.

 


Speaking on the callout Red Bay RNLI Helm Gary Fyfe said:


"Thankfully we had excellent conditions this evening and both people were safely recovered from the water. The fire took hold quickly and they made the correct decision to evacuate the vessel. We would advise people to carry a means of calling for help and to always wear a lifejacket."

 

The vessel later sank at 9.40pm.

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