THE Coastguard has renewed its appeal to all boat users to wear a lifejacket, following the dramatic sinking of a motor-boat at Castlerock on Sunday afternoon.
The 20 foot vessel, with two people on board, got into difficulties as it attempted to negotiate the Barmouth off Castlerock.
As large waves swamped the vessel, its crew made an emergency Mayday broadcast, which was picked up immediately by Malin Head Coastguard who relayed the call to Belfast Coastguard.
The Inshore Lifeboat from Portrush was tasked to the scene, along with the Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team.
Lifeguards on duty at Castlerock and Portstewart also responded and used their jetskis to rescue the two crew from the sinking boat.
The shocked man and woman were landed on Castlerock Strand and handed into the care of the Coastguard.
Coastguard Station Officer Chris Little said: “Fortunately both casualties were wearing their lifejackets and were recovered uninjured.
“Incidents like this can happen very quickly; we would urge anyone putting to sea to wear their lifejacket at all times.”
A second incident involving a motor-boat occurred late on Saturday evening when a 28 foot vessel developed engine difficulties off Portstewart.
Following an emergency call to Belfast Coastguard, Portrush Inshore Lifeboat and a team from Coleraine Coastguard were both tasked to the scene.
The vessel was towed to the safety of Portrush Harbour.
Alliance councillor Yvonne Boyle said: “I want to praise all those involved in this successful rescue effort. The lifeguards displayed great bravery and did not hesitate in putting skills into action.
“Their quick and effective response showed again how valuable this service is to the local area.
“I hope the man and woman involved in the rescue make a speedy recovery after their ordeal.”
Boarding boat for stolen
A boarding boat was stolen from Portrush Lifeboat Station.
The vessel is a vital part of the Lifeboat Station’s equipment as it ferries the volunteer lifeboat crew from the Lifeboat House to the all-weather Lifeboat when the crew are paged to respond to a shout.
A member of the public alerted police to the theft who made arrests.
Luckily the boarding boat was found abandoned on the beach and was retrieved in the early hours of Sunday morning by Robin Cardwell Lifeboat Operations Manager and Anthony Chambers, Lifeboat Mechanic.
Fortunately it was undamaged and is now back in action.
Judy Nelson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, said:
“This could have severely hampered our operations.
“The all-weather Lifeboat crew depend on this boarding boat to get them out from the station to the Lifeboat.
“If we had had a shout at this time it could have had real implications for our crew in terms of their ability to respond quickly to someone in difficulty.
“This was an irresponsible act and we are pleased that the PSNI made arrests and we got our boat back in one piece”
Anyone who has information about this incident should contact the PSNI on 08456008000