Rescued canoeists ‘lucky to be alive’

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Three canoeists rescued from Lough Neagh after getting into trouble are lucky to be alive, according to the Station Officer at Lough Neagh Rescue’s Kinnego Lifeboat.

The trio were pulled from the water after their canoe capsized in extremely rough conditions between Rams Island and Sandy Bay on Tuesday lunchtime.

A fourth man who was kayaking with the trio raised the alarm to crew on a nearby sand barge who threw them an inflatable raft.

However the trio suffered serious hypothermia with one suffering so severely he became unconscious.

Lough Neagh Rescue’s Kinnego and Ardboe lifeboats were tasked at 1pm and brought the three men, aged in their 20s, to Sandy Bay where two ambulances and a rapid response vehicle was waiting to rush them to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

James Greene, Station Officer at Kinnego describe the weather conditions on Lough Neagh that day as ‘extremely bad’.

He urged anyone thinking of canoeing on the lough to check weather conditions and to go properly equipped.

For the full story, see this week’s Lurgan Mail.