The RNLI rescues three people from inflatable dinghies swept out to sea off Cushendall

Red Bay RNLI rescued three people this afternoon (Wednesday August 3) after their dinghies were washed out to sea off Cushendall.

The Belfast Coastguard asked the volunteer crew to launch both their all-weather and coastal lifeboats at 2.22pm after the group sounded the alarm that their three dinghies were flooded with water .

An RNSLI spokesperson said: “The weather at the time was good with calm seas, but there was a Force 4 offshore wind blowing.

“The all-weather lifeboat was launched under the command of coxswain Paddy McLaughlin and four crew on board at 2.28pm, together with the coastal lifeboat helmed by Gary Fyfe and three crew on board.

“With the exact location unknown, lifeboats began an immediate search of the area, with the inshore lifeboat crew locating the three victims on the submerged inflatables two miles east of Cushendall.

“The victims were wet, cold and shaken from their experience. The crew worked to transfer them and the dinghies safely to the all-weather lifeboat, where they were then brought ashore.”

Speaking after the rescue, Red Bay RNLI Helm Gary Fyfe said: ‘Time was running out this afternoon and luckily the group had a means of communication to raise the alarm when they knew they were in trouble.

“It meant we could locate them and rescue them quickly before they were in greater danger.

“We know inflatables can be fun, but we encourage people to remember that they are designed for swimming pools and not for the beach where they can be easily blown out to sea, especially in offshore winds like today. today.

“If you bring an inflatable to the beach, be sure to choose a supervised beach and use it near the shore and between the red and yellow flags. Make sure children are supervised and never use an inflatable in big waves or when the orange windsock flies.

“If you get in trouble or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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