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Five People Get into Difficulty at Ballycastle Beach

16th July 2021
The scene at Ballycastle Beach after the incident
The scene at Ballycastle Beach after the incident Credit: courtesy Irish News

The 1.2 km Ballycastle Beach is a popular tourist destination on the Causeway Coast Route on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. It was the scene shortly before midday yesterday (15th July) of a serious incident, when as reported by the Belfast Telegraph, five people got into difficulty.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said three people on water pedal bikes went into the surf zone where they were swamped by a wave before being helped onto a group leader's boat which then capsized. Two people were taken to hospital, and three people were treated at the scene by paramedics. These were two separate incidents that occurred within metres of each other and within minutes of each other. The Irish News reported that by the time emergency crews including an ambulance and the NI Air Ambulance arrived at the scene, the group had made it back to shore.

The coastguard has appealed for people to exercise caution around seaside areas this weekend after this trip to the beach almost ended in tragedy.

A spokesperson for the Coastguard said there has been an increase in such incidents this year as a result of people spending more time locally due to the pandemic. "The weather has been particularly good over the past week or so, and it's looking like that's going to be the case for the next week, so we do expect to be quite busy. Temperatures in the low 20s can be expected until at least the middle of next week. We'd also recommend if you're going to go into the beach and go into the sea, to go to a beach that has lifeguards on it, especially at the weekend".

The Police Service thanked those involved in the incident. "Thank you also to Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), the Helimed team, Coastguard, RNLI, and all members of the public who helped, provided support to those involved and assisted with the moving of equipment and persons. All persons were transported by road ambulance to hospital as a precautionary measure with no life-threatening injuries".

A spokesperson for the Ambulance Service said four emergency crews, an officer and the charity air ambulance were called to the scene. 

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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