Portrush RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard yesterday (Saturday 22nd August) at 5.01pm to reports of a family with three young children who had been cut off by the tide on cliffs between Castlerock and Downhill beaches.
Coastguard rescue teams from Coleraine and Ballycastle are also tasked to the incident.
The alarm was raised by the RNLI Lifeguards stationed at Castlerock. The ILB left the station at 5.01pm and arrived on scene 5.18pm, weather conditions were good, and the sea state was smooth.
The family comprising of 2 adults and 3 children had been enjoying a day at the beach when they realised that there had been cut off by the rising tide.
The family were located approximately 10 feet up a cliff. There is a railway line running above the cliff so it was agreed that the best way to evacuate the family was to bring them down the cliff to the shore.
An RNLI Lifeguard sat with the family reassuring them until the ILB arrived on scene. Another Lifeguard on a jet ski was stationed just off the shore in case he was required to assist.
The volunteer RNLI crew and lifeguard formed a human chain to take firstly the mother and one child onto the ILB and were taken to the safety of the beach.
The ILB then returned to get the father and the other two children who were also taken onto the ILB via the human chain and returned to the beach to join their family.
Keith Gilmore Lifeboat Operations Manager at Portrush RNLI said:
‘This has been a very busy summer for both our volunteer Lifeboat crew and the Lifeguards on all our beaches in the area, and this is another example how we have worked very closely together to carry out a successful rescue.
“Of course, we have had the additional issue of having to wear PPE for the protection of the public and the crew, but it is something we are becoming used to wearing.
“The RNLI Lifeguards and our crew worked well today in this joint rescue and the hope the family are recovering from their ordeal”.