Belfast Telegraph

Sea rescue after teenagers dragged out by rip current off Antrim

By Brett Campbell

Sunbathers in Co Antrim watched on in shock as three teenagers were rescued after being dragged out to sea by a rip current.

The distressed swimmers were spotted by RNLI lifeguards 300 metres from a patrol zone on the East Strand in Portrush yesterday afternoon.

Two girls and one boy were safely brought back to shore where one girl who was struggling to breathe was treated by an ambulance crew.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Karl O'Neill has appealed to beach-goers to swim between the red and yellow flags.

"They have been marked based on where is safer to swim - this also helps you to be spotted more easily should something go wrong," he said.

The water expert also warned that swimming against a rip current will result in exhaustion.

"If you can stand, wade don't swim," he said.

"If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore - always raise your hand and shout for help."

Meanwhile a grandfather and his seven-year-old grandson were rescued in Co Down after a 27ft yacht they were on ran aground before rapidly taking on water.

A volunteer crew from Donaghadee RNLI responded to the incident in Ballywalter Harbour where an initial attempt to tow the yacht off the rocks proved unsuccessful. A local fishing boat towed it into the harbour where it is now being assessed for damage.

The all-weather lifeboat Saxon under coxswain Philip McNamara attended the scene before a decision to use a smaller inflatable rescue vessel was taken.

Belfast Telegraph

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