Belfast Coastguard received a report yesterday afternoon that a small dinghy with three women onboard had been blown a mile out to sea by a strong offshore wind from Cloughey on the Ards Peninsula. Belfast Coastguard requested the launch of Portaferry RNLI inshore lifeboat which was sent to assist along with a fishing vessel that was in the area.
Due to the offshore wind conditions the small dinghy, an eight foot fibreglass vessel with oars, was blown out to sea quickly and into rougher waters causing the boat to take on water.
Although the boat did not have an outboard engine or a VHF radio the women were all wearing lifejackets and did the right thing by phoning the Coastguard immediately once they realized they could not make shore safely.
Portaferry lifeboat recovered all girls from the dinghy and they are all now safely ashore at Cloughey.
Connor Lawson , Belfast Coastguard said:
These women, all nineteen years of age, are fortunate that they could obtain a mobile phone signal. We would always recommend that when putting to sea in any type of craft that you have the appropriate life saving apparatus with you, and you know how to use it.
Had this vessel sunk due to the water ingress, circumstances could so easily have been different.