Belfast Telegraph

What a week for RNLI heroes who've risked life and limb on stormy seas

CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

It's been a busy few days for Northern Ireland's lifeboats.

Huge waves combined with threats of a tidal surge caused panic and fear across Ulster.

These images show the terrifying conditions teams have encountered in the past days.

On Friday, Newcastle RNLI's inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched at 9am following reports a man had entered the sea after his dog.

The search was stood down at 10.30am after being declared a hoax.

Newcastle RNLI's deputy launching authority captain Joseph McClelland said: "They could have put people's lives at risk and diverted necessary search and rescue assets away from other work."

Meanwhile, yesterday three canoeists were pulled to safety after getting into difficulty in Lough Neagh.

Belfast Coastguard received a call after 1pm with reports three men had fallen into choppy water between Rams Island and Sandy Bay.

The three, who were all wearing lifejackets, were rescued from the water by a sand barge that was close by at the time.

Watch manager at Belfast Coastguard Liam Colquhoun said the canoeists were not wearing wetsuits and were showing signs of hypothermia.

He said: "We always recommend that canoeists and kayakers are well prepared before setting out."

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