Portrush RNLI volunteers demonstrated their dedication and quick response as they were called upon by HM Coastguard to aid a pleasure boat in distress. The distress call was made at 12:50pm on Saturday, the 19th of August, when the boat was reportedly taking on water between Portstewart and Barmouth.
Despite challenging conditions with force 5 winds and moderate seas, the Portrush all-weather lifeboat swiftly launched at 1:15pm. The vessel in distress had three individuals on board, and there were reports that it had already sunk, leaving the occupants in the water. Within minutes, the Portrush lifeboat arrived at the scene, joining forces with the Rescue 118 helicopter and three other local boats that had also responded to the Mayday call.
Fortunately, one of the local boats spotted the casualties and managed to bring two of them safely back to the harbor. The Portrush ALB (all-weather lifeboat) retrieved the remaining casualty and returned to the harbor. Upon arrival, they were met by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and HMCG.
Beni McAllister, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Portrush, expressed gratitude for the fortunate circumstances surrounding the incident. The three casualties were incredibly lucky to have had buoyancy aids and means of communication to call for help. McAllister also extended his appreciation to the local boat owners who promptly responded to the distress call, showcasing the strong sense of community and solidarity in the area.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of safety measures such as buoyancy aids and effective communication tools when out at sea. The Portrush RNLI volunteers are a shining example of the selflessness and commitment displayed by those who dedicate their time to saving lives along the coast.