Two members of the public helped prevent a ‘tragedy’ after saving a kayaker who had capsized on the River Bann this afternoon.
The incident unfolded when the alarm was raised shortly before 2.20 pm where it is understood a woman drifted at least 500 metres after her kayak capsized from the Railway Bridge to the Kenvarra Park area of Coleraine before being brought to safety by two rowers in the area.
A number of NIFRS appliances, Community Rescue Service, HM coastguard and ambulance crews were involved. It is understood the woman was in the water for at least 30 minutes.
A NIFRS spokesperson said “Firefighters were called to a water rescue incident in Kenvarra Park, Coleraine this afternoon. A casualty was rescued from the water by the public and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. Firefighters aided emergency service colleagues in moving the casualty from a boat to the ambulance. The incident was dealt with by 2.57 pm.”
Commenting on the news Independent Councillor McCandless said “Sincere thanks to the ‘Good Samaritans’ who rowed out to rescue a kayaker who had got into difficulty in the River Bann adjacent to Kenvarra Park Coleraine. Their selfless action undoubtedly saved a life.
“Cold, shock, hypothermia and fast-moving water are major risks when paddling in cold water – but when you have capsized this quickly can become lethal.
“Their quick thinking and prompt action are to be commended.
“Thanks also to the Blue Light services who assisted at the scene.”