Belfast Telegraph

Four rescued after boat hits rocks off Antrim coast

Four people have been rescued from a sinking boat after it hit rocks of the east Antrim coast.

Two RNLI lifeboats were launched on Friday at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assist a pleasure fishing boat with four people onboard off Carrickfergus.

Bangor RNLI lifeboat were requested to launch at 3.15pm after reports the boat had a fouled propeller and drifting ashore onto rocks. The boat was taking on water and required immediate assistance.

Bangor Lifeboat established a towline and was able to pull the sinking boat off the rocks and transfer two of the boats crew to the safety of the inshore lifeboat where they were given casualty care. The remaining two crew members were recovered on the shoreline by Coastguard members.

Due to the vessel taking on too much water the decision as taken to request the assistance of Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat and us the lifeboats salvage pump to try and save the vessel.

The Bangor lifeboat cut their towline and proceeded to take the two casualties who were wet and cold to Carrickfergus into the care of the waiting Coastguard crew.

The volunteer crew of Donaghadee lifeboat Saxon were paged at 4.12pm and proceeded to make full speed to the last reported location of the sinking vessel.

Upon arrival the fishing boat was already semi submerged and in the shipping lane, posing a danger to shipping traffic and local boats.

The crew were able to secure a towline and tow the boat to shallow waters just north east of Carrickfergus and prevent it becoming a danger to other boats. The boat was unable to be recovered.

Dual operation Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain Philip McNamara said "Although unable to make it on time to save the fishing boat the main concern is the safety of the crew members onboard.

"Thankfully the speedy response of our colleagues in Bangor ensured the people were brought to safety before the situation deteriorated any further.

"The crew member that requested assistance as soon as they realised they were in trouble did the right thing, the two crew members that made it ashore were very lucky to do so. If in difficulties it can be best to stay with your vessel as long as possible and avoid entering the water if you can."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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