Spring call-out for lifeboat after jet-ski gets into difficulty

All-weather lifeboat
All-weather lifeboat

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s All Weather Lifeboat Crew had their first spring call-out of the year yesterday when two jet-skiers got into difficulties at Benone Beach near Magilligan.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer crew were alerted by a friend of the two men who noticed that one of them had fallen off their jet-ski into the water.

“The weather was blustery and chilly and the sea was very choppy and extremely cold,” the RNLI said in a statement.

“The all-weather crew quickly located the two men who by this stage were very cold, as they had both been in the water for some time and neither were wearing wetsuits.

“The crew got the two young men on board and returned to base where they handed the casualties over to a waiting ambulance.

“The crew then returned to the area to recover the jet-ski as this could have posed a hazard to other boats and vessels in that area if not recovered.

“This, too, was quickly located and a decision was made by the Coxswain to tow the jet-ski to the safety of Portstewart Harbour as the surf conditions were not ideal for towing it to the beach.”

The crew then returned to their station after a four-hour operation and refuelled to be ready for their next call-out.

Lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell urged caution: “As this is the start of the summer season we are looking forward to welcoming people to enjoy the North Coast, but we would advise everyone to check their safety equipment after the winter months to make sure it is still in good condition.”

Mr Cardwell continued: “The lifeguards will be back on the beaches from April 18 so talk to them before you go out.

“You can also talk to our crew at the station who can advise of impending weather conditions and the currents and rip tides in the area.”