Belfast Telegraph

Man enters water to rescue swimmer in difficulty off Co Antrim coast

Portrush RNLI responded to the incident. Credit: RNLI/Judy Nelson
Portrush RNLI responded to the incident. Credit: RNLI/Judy Nelson

A man entered the water to rescue a swimmer in difficulty off the Co Antrim coast on Tuesday evening.

Both men were taken to hospital following the incident near Dunluce Castle.

It is understood that the man who entered the water was a trained lifeguard and followed protocol until the lifeboat arrived.

Portrush RNLI launched at 6.03pm on Tuesday evening to respond to reports of swimmers in difficulty.

Belfast Coastguard had reported that there was a man in the water who was unable to return to shore.

The Inshore Lifeboat Crew (ILB) arrived on the scene at 6.15pm to discover two men in the water.

It emerged that the second man had entered the water to try and rescue the first swimmer but was unable to get him back to shore due to the strong tidal stream.

He was able to keep the swimmer above water until the volunteer crew arrived.

Both men were pulled aboard by the ILB and transported back to Portballintrae where they were met by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance.

RNLI lifeguards were also in attendance, along with the coastguard.

The condition of both men is unknown at this time.

Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Keith Gilmore said that the swimmer was "very lucky" that someone was on the scene to assist them while the lifeboat arrived on scene.

"The volunteer crew were very quickly able to get the two people into the ILB and transported to a waiting ambulance," Mr Gilmore said.

"This is the classic scenario that we train for each week and the crew are very skilled and highly trained for this type of rescue. We would like to wish the two casualties a speedy recovery."

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