999 Coastguard call saved two surfers

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COASTGUARDS have said that two surfers, rescued off Castlerock beach on Sunday afternoon, were fortunate that someone had used the 999 system so quickly.

The two men had been surfing off the beach when they had been caught in strong currents and swept out to sea. As they waved frantically for help, they soon found themselves separated and unable to reach the shore.

Following a 999 call to MRCC Belfast Coastguard, from an alert member of the public, the Portrush Inshore Lifeboat was tasked along with the Coleraine Coastguard Team.

One of the surfers was located quickly by the lifeboat crew and taken on board.

A search began immediately for the second surfer who had by now disappeared from sight.

He was located more than 500 yards away and both surfers were then landed into the care of the Coastguard on Castlerock beach.

After being checked by Coastguards they were able to make their own way home.

Coleraine Coastguard Station Officer Chris Little told The Coleraine Times yesterday: “Thankfully both casualties stayed with their surfboards and waved for help.

“This rescue demonstrates yet again the value of a prompt 999 call to the Coastguard if you see someone in difficulties on the coast.”