CARRYBRIDGE RNLI had a busy evening last Friday as 12 people had to be rescued and ferried back to dry land.
A call from the Belfast Coastguard alerted the volunteer crew to an incident of a vessel in difficulty in shallow water close to Naan Island.
Once on scene the RNLI located two vessels in close proximity. The first vessel with one person onboard was assessed and the decision made with the owner’s permission to safely tow it into deeper water.
However, the second boat – which had five people and one dog on board – was further aground.
The crew then transferred four people from this vessel to the first vessel as they were travelling together. A safe route was established for the lifeboat crew to tow the stricken boat into deeper water with the owner’s permission. Both vessels then proceeded on their onward journey.
As this incident was being completed a third vessel – with two people on board – was spotted by the lifeboat crew entering the same very shallow area of water. After consultation with the RNLI, this boat was escorted to deeper water where they continued with their journey. Soon after, a fourth vessel – with four people on board – was spotted one mile north-west of Knockninny where it became apparent it was experiencing engine difficulties.
The lifeboat crew with the owner’s permission setup a tow and brought the vessel back to its private berth.
Speaking following the call out, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: ‘‘Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey.
“Make sure that you have lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble. If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’’
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