| 24.4°C Belfast

Sea dangers: Man dies in Ballintoy harbour incident and Newry sailor rescued off Irish coast after 10-hour ordeal


A man has died after being rescued from Ballintoy Harbour on Monday evening.

A man has died after being rescued from Ballintoy Harbour on Monday evening.

Coast Guard helicopter (PA)

Coast Guard helicopter (PA)


A man has died after being rescued from Ballintoy Harbour on Monday evening.

A man has died after he was pulled from the water at Ballintoy Harbour on Monday evening.

Coastguards from Ballycastle and Coleraine attended the scene along with Coastguard Helicopter R199 from Prestwick.

The man, who it is believed was swimming in the harbour, was confirmed dead at the scene, police said.

The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Local councillor Margaret Anne McKillop said her “heart goes out” to the man’s family and friends following the tragic incident.

"My thoughts are with them as they deal with this terrible tragedy,” she said.

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

"I would also like to pay tribute to the emergency services who were on the scene on Monday evening, they responded quickly and worked valiantly to try and save this man. Our coastguard teams and lifeboat crews do hugely important work in coastal areas and we would be lost without them.

"There have been a number of water-related deaths in the North during the recent spell of good weather, including both adults and children.

"I would urge people to be careful when swimming in the ocean or local lakes and rivers. The number of recent deaths has been tragic and should be a wake up call to others of the dangers of water, particularly where there is no lifeguard or other monitoring present.

"Even the most seasoned swimmer can get into difficulty in the wrong conditions and hazards are not always visible before it’s too late.”

Richard Holmes – Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council – said the death would have a “profound effect” on the local community.

"My thoughts are with this man’s family and friends as they come to terms with their sudden loss, and I want to express my deepest sympathies to them,” he said.

"This distressing incident is a reminder to all of us about the dangers posed by our waters. If you’re visiting the coast, please exercise caution and take all steps to keep yourself as safe as possible.”

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a Newry man was rescued from the sea off Co Louth 10 hours after his inflatable boat capsized.

The Irish Coast Guard said he owed his life to a flotation device he was wearing and the fact that the water around the coast was unusually warm.

A multi-agency rescue mission was launched yesterday off the coast of Co Louth when the man’s wife raised the alarm after he failed to return home.

The man left Newry at around 11am with the intention of launching his inflatable boat at Ballagan Point in Greenore about a half hour drive away.

He was seen around lunchtime in the boat but his wife became concerned when he did not return home so she contacted the emergency services.

Gardai contacted the Coast Guard at around 9.45pm last night and the man’s car was found parked at Whitestown beach close to Ballagan beach on the tip of the Cooley peninsula.

The Coast Guard sent a land-based unit out to sweep the coast, and shouts were heard from the water at around 10.10pm so the rescue helicopter 116 was sent from Dublin and the Kilkeel lifeboat to search the waters.

The pilot boat Mourne Mist was also tasked to search the seas in the area.

A local man in Whitestown who became aware of the search brought his kayak to the scene and searched the area where the shouting had been heard, and managed to locate the man in the water.

He brought him to the Mourne Mist pilot boat who transferred him to the Kilkeel lifeboat, whose crew assessed him and found him to be mildly hypothermic and tired, and in need of medical attention.

At 10.35pm he was winched from the lifeboat by rescue helicopter 116 and brought to Beaumont hospital in Dublin for treatment.

It is expected the man will make a full recovery.

An Irish Coast Guard spokesman said the man owes his life to the fact that he was wearing a floatation device. “The fact that the waters are warmer at this time of year will have helped too if he was in the sea for hours,” he added.

Top Videos