Paddle boarders rescued in lifeboat and coastguard emergency operation off Ballintoy in north Antrim

Paddle boarders were rescued by Portrush RNLI today.

Sunday, 10th October 2021, 9:36 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 9:39 pm
A rescue operation near Ballintoy Co Antrim this afternnon after two paddle boarders were rescued from high winds, the alarm was raised around 15.30. Coastguard teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine attended the incident along with lifeboats from Redbay and Portrush, Police Helicopter and a Coastguard rescue helicopter. Pic McAuley Multimedia

The all-weather weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 3.24pm to reports of paddle boarders in difficulty off Ballintoy.

Visibility was good, with partial cloud -sea conditions were choppy, the RNLI said.

The volunteer crew launched at 3.40pm and arrived on scene at 4.08pm along with both Red Bay RNLI lifeboats. By the time all lifeboats arrived on scene, the paddleboarders had been able to get onto Sheep Island.

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RNLI lifeboats as part of today's operation. Pic McAuley Multimedia

Sea and weather conditions prevented the crew launching the Y boat from the boat. By this time the coastguard helicopter was on the way and the lifeboat along with Red Bay RNLI were asked to standby until the casualties were recovered successfully off the island and handed over to coastguard shore crew.

Portrush RNLI returned to station at 5.25pm.

Earlier, the all-weather lifeboat was paged at 10.02 am to reports of kayakers in difficulty at Portballintrae. However, the kayakers were able to make their way back to harbour and the lifeboat returned to station.

Beni McAllister Lifeboat Operations Manager at Portrush Lifeboat Station said: “This was a busy day for our volunteer crew and our flank station Red Bay RNLI, and we commend members of the public who alerted the emergency services very quickly as these two incidences could have had very different outcomes.

“We would always advise that before people undertake any kind of activity around the coast to check weather and tide conditions. Make sure you have means of contacting help as well as having the proper equipment such as lifejackets etc.

“More information can be downloaded from www.rnli.org/safety and this site will be able to give great advice for people intending to enjoy water based activities.”

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