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Remain vigilant while visiting NI beauty spots, urges councillor

Browns Bay

An Alliance councillor has urged the community to be vigilant about coronavirus after visitors packed an east Antrim beauty spot at the weekend.

Larne Lough representative Danny Donnelly said he had received reports of "large crowds" at Brown's Bay beach in Islandmagee.

Commenting on social media, Mr Donnelly said: "I have spoken to police about concerns raised around social distancing. It is a beautiful area.

"I understand why people flock here on a sunny day but I would encourage everyone to be vigilant against the virus."

He added: "The virus is still here and still highly contagious.

"Some people will die unnecessarily if more people catch it and spread it around."

The PSNI in Mid and East Antrim said it had increased patrols around beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs at the weekend "to encourage everyone to follow the NI Executive regulations to stop the spread of Covid-19".

Meanwhile, Portmuck Coastguard conducted safety patrols in the Islandmagee, Whitehead and Carrickfergus areas at the weekend.

A spokesperson said: "Please take care and stay safe if you are on the beach."

Portmuck Coastguard issued an important warning after a vehicle was found to have blocked an emergency access route at Brown's Bay. The spokesperson stated: "Please don't park and leave your car blocking emergency access routes on to the beach, this can result in valuable time wasted in getting resources to a casualty."

Last weekend, the Larne team was alerted when a vessel was seen drifting near the Black Arch.

However, the craft was able to make its own way towards Larne Harbour shadowed by the Coastguard team to the nearby boat club.

The Coastguard reported that the two person crew on board were "safe and well".

The RNLI recently reminded the public that its beach lifeguard service will not be starting until later in June, and on a restricted basis.

Belfast Telegraph