Larne RNLI assist three people on two separate call outs

Larne RNLI has come to the aid of three people who got into difficulty off the Antrim coast last night and this morning.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 5:32 pm
Inshore lifeboat heading towards Ballygally (credit: Dave Sommerville).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their lifeboats on two separate occasions yesterday evening (Monday, May 17) and in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, May 18).

Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were requested to launch for the first time at the request of Belfast Coastguard around 11pm.

It followed a report that a man had fallen on rocks and had a suspected wrist fracture and a cut to the head, in the Ballygally area near Larne.

The casualty yacht under tow heading towards Carrickfergus marina (credit: Derek Rea).

The lifeboats launched into calm seas and the crew made their way towards the casualty, where Larne Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were already on scene.

The all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparron, went alongside providing support and helping to illuminate the area as light levels had decreased.

Due to the position of the casualty, he was unable to be recovered by either the Coastguard or ambulance service onto the Coast Road.

The man was transferred from the rocks into the inshore lifeboat, Terry, in a basket stretcher, along with a paramedic.

The inshore lifeboat then brought the casualty to the slipway near Ballygally beach, where he could be transferred into the care of the ambulance service.

The lifeboat crew were requested again at 1.42am by Belfast Coastguard, to assist two sailors in a 35ft yacht on passage from Argyll to Carrickfergus with a reported engine failure.

The all-weather lifeboat launched and made its way towards the casualty vessel, nearly 15 nautical miles from Larne Harbour.

Upon reaching the yacht, a volunteer crew member was put onboard to check that the two sailors were safe and well, and then established a tow line so that a safe passage could be made into Carrickfergus marina, where the yacht was secured for maintenance.

Following the call outs, Larne RNLI’s Deputy Launching Authority, Philip Ford-Hutchinson said: "Last night was a busy night for our volunteer crews with little rest between call outs.

"The first call demonstrated great teamwork between the RNLI, Larne Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. Call outs like these are something that our volunteer crew regularly train for and the skill and professionalism was evident last night. We wish the gentleman a speedy recovery."