Paddleboarder located ‘safe and well’ after lifeboats tasked to Whitehead

Larne Lifeboat.
Larne Lifeboat.

Larne RNLI launched to search for a paddleboarder who was reported overdue from Whitehead on Sunday afternoon.

Larne RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched at 4.55pm following a request from Belfast Coastguard to assist in the search.

Donaghadee RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and Bangor RNLI’s inshore lifeboat also launched alongside three Coastguard shore teams, Coastguard helicopter and the PSNI to help locate the paddleboarder who had set off from Whitehead earlier in the afternoon.

Weather conditions at the time were breezy, rough seas and good visibility.

Larne inshore lifeboat conducted a shoreline search including local harbours and bays. The all-weather lifeboat conducted a search further south along the Gobbins coastal path. Following speaking to a local tour guide the crew were directed to a paddle boarder who had been spotted further south of the Gobbins.

The paddleboarder was located safe and well and was happy to make his way back to Whitehead harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Frank Healy, Larne RNLI Coxswain said: “Our volunteer crew training kicked in to ensure both our lifeboats were launched quickly to take part in the multi-agency search. Thankfully the casualty was located safe and well.

“We would encourage people to enjoy our beautiful coastline but would remind everyone going to sea to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, carry a means of communication and let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back and check the weather forecast.

“Should you get into difficulty or see anyone in distress at sea or on our coastline, call 999 ask for the Coastguard.”