Rev Harold Good stranded in drifting boat
A leading clergyman last night insisted he was never in any danger when the small boat he and his pet dog were in suffered an engine failure off the north Antrim coast.
Former Methodist Church president the Rev Harold Good said that when the engine cut out he simply "rang a friend" who came along and towed his 15ft boat - the White Falcon - into Ballycastle harbour.
Belfast Coastguard last night confirmed the incident happened around 5pm off Kenbane Head, and that a boat from Ballycastle, the Boisterous, guided a small angling vessel to port. Ballycastle Coastguard kept watch to ensure safe passage.
The Rev Good, who turns 80 next year, was one of two independent witnesses who oversaw the decommissioning of IRA arms, a vital part of the peace process in 2005.
After his boat lost power, Ballycastle boatmen Chris McCaughan and Marvi Kaskoush went to his aid. Mr McCaughan said such incidents were commonplace: "That happens all the time - it happens to us all."
In 2010, at Kenbane Castle, the Lord Rank, a youth training vessel, sank with a crew and Downtown Radio presenters on board. Six people were rescued by lifeboat crews after the 70ft yacht hit rocks.
But the Rev Good played down the seriousness of his mishap. He said: "It was nothing more than a fuel thing - a bit of dirt in the fuel line or something like that. It was just a bit of dirt and I rang a friend and he came out to help me.
"I was out in a little boat, I just went out for a couple of hours to enjoy the scenery. It was beautiful.
"I am not exaggerating when I say it was the equivalent of having a puncture in a car, the kind of thing that happens to people on boats - you get an airlock or something, and I just stopped and phoned a friend and he came and brought me in.
"I didn't have to dial 999 or Coastguards or anything.
"It was just off the shore, there was no trauma and nothing dramatic about it."
At the same time yesterday, Ballycastle Coastguard assisted paramedics after a female walker fell on rocks at Ballintoy, on the north Antrim coast, and injured her leg.