Lifeboat and lifeguards praised for rescues

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THE RNLI Divisional Operations Manager for Northern Ireland has praised lifeboat crews and lifeguards following a busy year on the Causeway Coast.

Gareth Morrison said: “Our lifeboat crews are highly trained and equipped to deal with the challenges they face and we are indebted to their dedication to respond when the need arises.

“I would like to say a huge thank-you to our volunteers and all those who support the RNLI, a charity dependent on the generosity of the public, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation.

“I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our colleagues in the Coastguard and emergency services who we worked closely with in 2013’.

Figures showed that the Portrush Lifeboat had 47 call outs bringing 33 people to safety.

The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units, was the busiest area, with lifeguards responding to 222 incidents and assisting 247 people.

Among these incidents was the dramatic rescue of a family of six in Castlerock after they got caught in a flash rip - a strong current running out to sea.