#Rescue - Downhill beach lifeguard Ray Cunningham has been hailed a hero after racing to the rescue of an eight-year-old bodyboarder caught in a rip current off the Causeway Coast yesterday (Tuesday 11 August).
Within minutes he was at the boy's side, taking him on to his rescue board and returning to the beach where he was met by his mother.
"It all happened very quickly as with most of these types of emergencies," said Cunningham after the rescue. "I spotted the child struggling on his paddle board outside the area of the flags. He was trying to stay afloat and was too far out from the shore.
"Despite attempting to get back to land, he was not getting any closer and was getting distressed. When I arrived on scene I checked that he was okay and brought him to safety." The lifeguard added: "It was a nice day but we would urge people who want to enjoy the sea to stay between the flags and be vigilant for rip currents.
"This young boy was very lucky, he was working so hard to try and get back to the shore but he was going nowhere and becoming exhausted. He was pretty shaken by the ordeal but thankfully had no injuries."