Five children were rescued just as they were being swept out to sea, the RNLI said yesterday.
They had been in an inflatable raft in Belfast Lough, off the Whiteabbey side of the shore.
Within minutes of receiving the alert, volunteers launched a lifeboat and, upon reaching the scene, found three children on board, plus two others clinging to windsurfing boards.
They were described as “cold and exhausted” and were brought ashore at Carrickfergus Harbour.
The incident unfolded at around 7pm on Wednesday night and John Bell, volunteer RNLI helmsman who was involved in this rescue, warned: “Inflatable boats and toys are great fun in the swimming pool but we do not recommend that people use them at the seaside”.