Busy start to summer season for Larne RNLI

Pic supplied by RNLI
Pic supplied by RNLI

Larne RNLI was called out to five emergencies during the past fortnight.

The alarm was raised over vessels taking on water, children stranded on rocks at Black Arch, a broken down yacht and kayakers.

Teenagers were stranded on rocks at Black Arch. Pic supplied by RNLI.

Teenagers were stranded on rocks at Black Arch. Pic supplied by RNLI.

The most recent alert occurred on Friday night.

Larne’s all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron and inshore lifeboat Terry were launched at 11.00 pm on request of Belfast Coastguard following reports of two overdue kayakers.

Both boats completed a search north from Larne with the kayakers located safe and well at Drumnagreagh.

Both lifeboats were also launched on Sunday June 11 to a 36ft yacht experiencing engine difficulties near the entrance to Larne Lough.

A yacht was pulled to safety at Lanre Harbour. Pic supplied by RNLI.

A yacht was pulled to safety at Lanre Harbour. Pic supplied by RNLI.

On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member was transferred onto the yacht to check the three on board were safe and well.

A towline was then established before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne Harbour.

Two days later, Larne inshore lifeboat was launched following reports of an over-turned kayak at Carnfunnock. This was a false alarm with good intent.

On June 18, both Larne lifeboats were called to assist a vessel with two adults and two children on board that was taking on water in Drains Bay.

The all-weather lifeboat was stood down by Belfast Coastguard after it was confirmed that the vessel had made it ashore.

On June 19, the lifeboat crew was called by Belfast coastguard at 8.40pm after reports that five teenagers were stranded on rocks at Black Arch.

Larne RNLI immediately launched both lifeboats and was on scene within minutes.

After putting the group into lifejackets, the lifeboat crew transferred them onboard the inshore lifeboat.

They then made the short trip out to the all-weather lifeboat where they were then transferred onboard and their condition assessed. Members of the Larne Coastguard were also on scene and provided valuable ground support during the operation.

Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: “This has been a busy few weeks for our volunteer crew who drop everything to answer the call when their pagers sound.

“Our crews are highly trained and skilled and excellent team work ensured that all five launches were completed safely and successfully.”

The RNLI is promoting its national drowning prevention campaign,“Respect the Water”.

This is aimed at promoting safety advice to all who visit the coast.

The RNLI wants everyone to enjoy the water, but also want people to recognise its dangers and never underestimate its power.

This year, Respect the Water will focus on simple floating skills that could save a life.

The RNLI says: “If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, the advice is to float to increase your chances of survival. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Allan Dorman, Larne RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager advises:“For those who are planning to visit the sea please check the weather and tides before heading to the coast, tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help. And if you see someone in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”