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Larne RNLI rescue three missing divers north of The Gobbins

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Larne RNLI responded to a launch request from the UK Coastguard this evening (Wednesday 8 June) to help search for three overdue divers near Blackhead Lighthouse.

The initial alarm was raised at 5.30pm to report three divers who were 40 minutes overdue. Larne All-weather lifeboat launched followed by Larne inshore lifeboat and the crews were quickly on scene in the Blackhead Area to commence the search. The major multiagency search was coordinated by the coastguard and included Bangor RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, four shipping vessels, two boats from Whitehead Yacht club and Larne, Portmuck and Bangor coastguard teams.

The weather conditions of calm seas with thick banks of rolling fog caused poor visibility and challenging search conditions.

Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat located the three divers at 6.50pm on a cliff face north of The Gobbins. The divers were recovered into the lifeboat and did not require medical assistance however they were fatigued, hungry and thirsty. Larne All-weather lifeboat then took the divers onboard and transferred them safely back to Belfast Coastal Operations Centre in Bangor.

Larne RNLI Operations Manager Allan Dorman said 'Conditions were very challenging with visibility down to about fifteen metres.  The divers did the right thing and stayed together.  We were fearful as time passed and our lifeboat crews were still searching the area with no sightings but thankfully the tide took them north and to nearby rocks.  They were exhausted when they were finally located and recovered onto the inshore lifeboat.  We are extremely thankful that the callout ended well with everyone accounted for and safely recovered. Our thanks to everyone involved in the search.’

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RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Fiona Kirkpatrick Larne RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 077 3805 9405 email Fiona_Kirkpatrick@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 87 1254 124 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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