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Clothing on beach sparks major search

By Angela Rainey

Published 25/07/2016

A major helicopter search was launched after a passer-by found items of clothing on a north Antrim beach. File image
A major helicopter search was launched after a passer-by found items of clothing on a north Antrim beach. File image

A major helicopter search was launched after a passer-by found items of clothing on a north Antrim beach.

Two RNLI lifeboats were launched and a Coastguard helicopter scrambled from Sligo to search the sea around Castlerock and Downhill following a call from a member of the public that two swimmers were missing.

It was later ruled to be a false alarm.

The member of the public contacted emergency services at about 6.40pm after finding clothes on the beach and became alarmed when their owners could not be located.

Additional support was lent by RNLI beach lifeguards who searched the area on jet-skis, but after three hours it was deemed that there were no missing people.

The Coastguard described the incident as a "false alarm with good intent".

Judy Nelson who volunteers for Portrush RNLI said: "Someone spotted clothes on the beach and was worried. In this case the person was well-meaning but there was no cause for concern."

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