Children had to be rescued by lifeboat after being swept out to sea at Brown’s Bay in Islandmagee yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).
Portmuck and Larne Coastguard teams along with Larne Lifeboat came to the rescue after the alarm was raised at 3.26 pm.
Adults who attempted to reach them also using an inflatable boat also got into difficulties due to the offshore wind.
A spokesperson for Portmuck Coastguard said: “A passing local fishing boat helped to bring the casualties back and handed them over to Larne inshore lifeboat who brought them ashore to the waiting Coastguards.
A spokesperson for Larne RNLI said: “Upon arriving in Brown’s Bay, it was discovered that the small fishing vessel had already taken one casualty on board and was attempting to take the inflatables and two further casualties.
“At this point, the volunteer took over and safely assisted the two additional casualties aboard the lifeboat and recover the two inflatables. The third casualty opted to remain on the fishing vessel.
“With the two casualties safely aboard the lifeboat, the crew assessed their condition and returned them, and their inflatables to the beach.
Speaking afterwards RNLI volunteer helm, Barry Kirkpatrick, said: “We advise you not to use inflatables at the beach as offshore winds can easily sweep you off the shore in a very quick space of time. If you do get into difficulty or see anyone else in difficulty, please remember to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Portmuck Coastguard stated: “Please be careful with children using inflatables on the beach with offshore winds as they can get swept out very quickly. They should always have a length of rope held by a responsible person on the beach.”