Teenager rescued after floating out to sea on inflatable unicorn

Northern Ireland’s beach-goers have been warned of the dangers of inflatables after a teenager had to be rescued by the RNLI.

The young person drifted more than half a mile out to sea on a unicorn inflatable on Tuesday (August 2).

What started as a fun afternoon by the coast ended in drama when a concerned member of the public raised the alarm and the Coastguard were called.

A spokesperson for Portaferry RNLI explained how their volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 3.45pm and made their way to Kilard Point in Strangford Lough.

Portaferry RNLI came to the rescue of the teenager. Picture: Portaferry RNLI

“The crew launched in good weather conditions with excellent visibility, a calm sea state and a Force Three westerly wind.

“The crew launched to reports of a teenager that had drifted off shore at Kilard Point on an inflatable. The alarm was raised by members of the public who were concerned and contacted Belfast Coastguard.

“When the lifeboat crew located the casualty at Angus Rock within Strangford Lough, they immediately set about bringing the teenager onboard the lifeboat whilst checking him over for any injuries. The casualty was safe and well.

“The crew then proceeded back to Kilcief beach and transferred the casualty back into the care of his family and the Coastguard.”

Portaferry RNLI Helm Ian Sands added: ‘We were glad to rescue the casualty and bring him to safety. The casualty did the right thing by staying with the inflatable until help arrived.

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“It is important to note that while inflatables can be fun, they are not designed for the beach where they can be easily be blown offshore.”