Portaferry RNLI Receives Two Calls In 24 Hours

Two callouts in 24 hours keeps Portaferry RNLI volunteers busy.

On Saturday 15 September at 4.45pm, a volunteer RNLI crew from Portaferry launched to the aid of two men in trouble in the water just off Ballyhenry Island, a small island located approximately 1.5 miles north of Portaferry on the eastern shore of Strangford Lough in County Down.

At the time, the weather was cloudy with good visibility, a southerly wind and calm seas. The two men had been using a jet ski when one of them had fallen from the ski and was struggling to get back to it.

The second man, realising that the first man was in difficulty, started to swim from the shore to try and help.

The Portaferry RNLI Blue Peter V rescue boat in action.

The RNLI volunteers from Portaferry launched at 4.50pm and were on scene at 5.00pm where the lifeboat crew took both men on board the lifeboat before returning them to Cooke Street Quay in Portaferry and into the care of the Portaferry Coastguard team.

The second launch was in response to a mayday call regarding an angler who had fallen from rocks into the sea just off Ardglass Golf Course in county Down.

The pagers sounded at 8.36am and the crew were on the water at 8.42am arriving on scene at 9.10am.

The weather conditions at the time were overcast with good visibility, a south west force three wind and moderate seas.

The man casualty had in the meantime been luckily picked up by a local boat from Ardglass and returned to shore at Ardglass Marina. The volunteer RNLI crew from Portaferry continued to the Marina where they administered first aid on the man before departing at 9.40am leaving him in the care of the local Coastguard team.

Commenting on the weekends events, Simon Rogers, the Lifeboat Operations Manager for Portaferry RNLI, said: “We can go for weeks without any callouts, but during those quiet periods our volunteer boat and shore crew members train hard every week, preparing for situations such as this.

“It is thanks to their dedication and hard work that we are able to respond so quickly and as often as required to help those in trouble at sea.”

South Down MLA Colin McGrath.

This is the second rescue in Ardglass within a week. See link below to article for further details.

McGrath Commends Local RNLI And Coastguard

South Down MLA Colin McGrath (SDLP) has commended and thanked the South Down Coastguard team and members of a local Portaferry RNLI rescue vessel for their bravery and quick reactions this morning in saving an angler who was swept into the water at Ardglass.

Mr McGrath said: “Being a coastal constituency, the perils of the coastline are well known. We have some of the most dramatic and beautiful places on the island of Ireland but there are dangers too.

“This morning an angler fell into the sea at Ardglass. Fortunately the angler was picked up by a local boat within minutes but through the concerted work and effort of the coastguard and locals this angler was well looked after on his arrival back to Ardglass harbour.

“This afternoon we could have been relaying a sadder, more tragic news story. I want to thank the local Porteferry RNLI team involved in the response and to the coastguard for their unending support to our coastal community in South Down.”

Related links:

RNLI Called Out To Rescue Stricken Yacht Off Ardglass