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Kayakers rescued in Co Antrim after freak wave hits

By Michelle Smyth

Published 07/07/2014

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Boats in the water

A man has spoken of his lucky escape after a freak wave hit a group of kayakers in Co Antrim.

The Ballymena man was out kayaking with three of his friends near Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on Saturday when two of the men were knocked into the water and pushed towards rocks by a huge wave.

"We are all fairly experienced kayakers and we would be out in the water a lot," said the kayaker, who wished to remain anonymous.

"It was a shock this happened. I would like to thank the Coastguard and RNLI for their speedy response. They carried out a challenging rescue with the utmost professionalism."

A vigilant National Trust employee raised the alarm and the Ballycastle and Coleraine Coastguard rushed to the scene as well as Portrush Lifeboat.

The two men, who had sought safety on rocks at the bottom of the cliff, were winched to safety by two rescue technicians and treated for minor injuries.

Chris Little, station officer with Coleraine Coastguard, said the rescue was difficult.

"The equipment had to be carried to the rope bridge, down a number of steps and then across the bridge itself," he said.

"That's no mean feat to get across to an island and then set up all the equipment. Access to the scene was tricky and time was of the essence to get to these two men trapped at the bottom of the cliff."

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