Teenager dies despite ‘valiant efforts’ of friends to try and save him at north coast

A teenager lost his life near Dunluce Castle. Pic Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

A TEENAGER died despite the “valiant efforts” of his friends to try and save him at the north coast.

His body was recovered from the sea at Dunluce Castle near Portrush on Tuesday evening.

Emergency services at the scene.

 

Coastguard officers said that a group of friends was “coasteering” when the incident took place.

The activity includes swimming off rocky coastlines and sometimes jumping into the sea from rocks.

Emergency services at the scene.

 

The friends, who were wearing wetsuits, were in a cove known locally as the Lord’s Prayer when it is understood the teenager who died hit his head on a rock, the BBC reports.

Police have said they are “investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a young male” but are not treating it as suspicious.

Emergency services at the scene.

 

A second person was rescued after the alarm was raised just after 5pm on Tuesday.

The coastguard said that person suffered minor injuries, while two others were unharmed.

Coastguard teams from Coleraine and Ballycastle attended as well as the coastguard helicopter from Prestwick, Portrush RNLI lifeboats and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

The Coastguard’s Alistair Simpson said one of the group was unconscious in the water and was taken to White Rocks beach where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Simpson said that one of the teenager’s friends had suffered lower back injuries which were not serious.

“Coasteering around this coastline is a very popular pastime, but we would really encourage people to take part in an organised coasteering group,” he said.

“There are groups here who organise it on a professional basis, they are properly equipped and carry our suitable risk assessments.

“We would always encourage anyone doing coasteering to wear suitable protective equipment – bare minimum a wet suit, life jacket and helmet.”

Mr Simpson’s colleague Judith McNeice, told BBC NI’s Good Morning Ulster: “The young man was pulled from the water and taken to the beach by Portrush Lifeboat, but unfortunately, after being treated, he was pronounced deceased.

“He was in his late teens, I understand.

“Although it was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday, the north coast is notorious for having a large swell even in the most benign of weather, so there is a risk even on a lovely day.”

She said the teenager’s three friends “made valiant efforts to try and rescue him” and that one had suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Ms McNeice said they could take comfort from the fact that they had done everything they could to try and save their friend.

She urged people to take care at the coast and only swim at lifeguarded beaches.

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