Beach rescue after cyclist falls on to rocks from Antrim Coast Road

The man fell between 12 and 15ft from the Coast Road north of Ballygally
The man fell between 12 and 15ft from the Coast Road north of Ballygally

A dramatic rescue has taken place in Co Antrim after a cyclist came off the road and fell down a steep slope on to a rocky shore.

It has been estimated the drop was somewhere between 12 and 15 feet.

Larne RNLI was involved in the multi-agency rescue of the cyclist

Larne RNLI was involved in the multi-agency rescue of the cyclist

The cyclist – believed to be in his 60s – came off the Coast Road, half a mile north of Ballygally shortly after 10am on Sunday.

The logistics of the operation proved tricky as the casualty could only be accessed by sea and therefore the rescue mission involved a number of agencies.

The volunteer lifeboat crew at Larne RNLI was requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 10.15am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a cyclist had fallen down a steep slope on to a rocky shore.

Larne and Ballycastle Coastguard also responded along with personnel from both the fire and rescue service and the ambulance service.

Larne RNLI's Pamela Leitch

Larne RNLI's Pamela Leitch

The RNLI said that the good weather conditions and a calm sea helped the rescue operation.

Once on scene, two Larne RNLI crew members from the all-weather lifeboat went ashore with the inshore lifeboat crew to help with the extraction of the casualty.

The casualty was assessed by a doctor and paramedic from the ambulance service and a decision was made to transfer from the beach via the inshore lifeboat.

A doctor and paramedic accompanied the casualty as the lifeboat made the short journey back to Ballygally beach.

With the lifeboat beached, the casualty was transferred into the care of the waiting coastguard team and ambulance personnel.

Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch said: “Due to the nature of the cyclist’s fall, the position for extraction was challenging via land and the best decision was to remove him from the beach side.

“We would like to wish the cyclist a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for him.

“Today’s call out was a great example of different agencies working well together to bring someone to safety.”

The incident follows another rescue operation on Saturday morning when a group of youth footballers were swept out to sea by a rip current near Bundoran, Co Donegal.

The Fermanagh Super Cup team had entered the water to cool down after a training session on Tullan Strand.

An inshore lifeboat and a Sligo-based rescue helicopter attended the scene. Some of the youths were taken to hospital as a precaution.