Lough Neagh Rescue reach 1,000 call outs

Kinnego, Ardboe and Antrim crews of Lough Neagh Rescue
Kinnego, Ardboe and Antrim crews of Lough Neagh Rescue

Lough Neagh Rescue has reached a milestone 1,000 call outs as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

Two dramatic search and rescues took place over the past couple of weeks including the three lifeboats’ early morning dash to Coney Island where more than 20 people were reportedly in trouble.

The Charity, which now has crews at Antrim, Ardboe and Kinnego, has had its units tasked a record 1,000 times in 535 separate call-outs resulting in the rescue of 300 people, while a further 734 received assistance.

Just before 5am on Sunday, September 14, Lough Neagh Rescue was called to the help more than 20 people who were reportedly stranded on Coney Island.

And on Sunday, September 21, all three LNR crews from Kinnego, Ardboe and Antrim took part, for the first time, in a massive search operation in the Antrim area.

More than 30 crew, both in the water and on the ground, were called in to help locate a man who was last seen in the vicinity of the Six Mile Water.

While the man - who was in his forties - was later found to be safe and well, the search operation, which also involved the PSNI and Coastguard, gave the new Antrim crew invaluable first-hand experience assisting on such a mission.

The PSNI had initiated both operations through the Coastguard - who oversee the work of LNR.

The Coney Island Rescue, in which 11 young people were ferried back to Maghery, was instigated after a number of young people were reportedly left stranded after their boat did not return.

LNR were asked to attend the scene by the Coastguard, and 11 cold and fatigued people were brought ashore on the Kinnego and Ardboe lifeboats.

It is understood others elected to remain on the island.