Kayakers rescued after getting into difficulties in Strangford lough


Fourteen kayakers were rescued by lifeboat crew at Portaferry RNLI after they got into difficulties in Strangford Lough.

The rescue happened at noon today.

Some of the rescued were taken to hospital by an ambulance which had been called to the scene.

Four of the group had capsized and were in the freezing water when the lifeboat arrived on scene.

Lifeboat crew also recovered a further nine onboard from their kayaks.

The group was made up of three adults and eleven teenagers.

The group had been travelling towards Salt Island on Strangford Lough when a change in the weather conditions capsized a number of their canoes.

Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian Bailie said, “This was a very successful rescue for the lifeboat crew who arrived on scene minutes after the alarm was raised.

“To take such a large number of casualties to safety is a testament to their training and skill. We are delighted that everyone is safe and well.”

He added: “The group were all wearing floatation devices and helmets. The priority of the volunteer lifeboat crew from the outset was to take the four people from the water first and get them warm.

“Conditions were fresh with a strong wind blowing across the lough and the group could have quickly been blown in different directions.”