Larne RNLI come to aid of rowers

Members of Larne RNLI were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday (July 2) to reports of a GB row challenge boat with a broken rudder having run aground on Muck Island off Islandmagee.

Launching both of their life boats at 10.47am into a moderate sea, with a light breeze, the volunteer crew headed towards the casualty’s last reported location towards Muck Island, off Islandmagee.

Detailing the emergency response, a Larne RNLI spokesperson said: “Upon reaching the casualty vessel and ensuring that all five people on the boat were safe and well, the in-shore lifeboat, Terry, was tasked to start a tow to bring the rowing boat back to the safety of East Antrim Boat Club.

“Towing proved challenging due to the broken rudder on the row boat, but the in-shore lifeboat deployed a sea anchor in an effort to try and control the movement of the vessel to make it easier to steer.

Larne RNLI assisted five rowers who had run aground on Muck Island. (Pic RNLI).

“It was decided that the tow should be passed to the bigger all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran, which brought the rowing boat into the shelter of Larne Harbour.

“The decision was made to secure the casualty vessel at Wymer’s Pier, at East Antrim Boat Club, so the tow was passed back to the in-shore lifeboat to bring the causlty alongside at Wymer’s whilst in Larne Harbour.”

After the call out, Larne RNLI’s coxswain, Chris Dorman explained: “The casualties were well prepared for most eventualities, having the correct safety equipment and good working gear onboard.

“The sea is unpredictable and can catch anyone out. That’s why, if you are ever in trouble at sea, you should contact 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.”

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