At 7:30pm on Tuesday 21st June, the Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team and Portrush Inshore Lifeboat were tasked to the Herring Pond Portstewart, following a report of a person in difficulties in the water.
Coastguard Rescue Officers, who live in Portstewart, were quickly on the scene and located the fifteen year old about 30 yards off the rocks, caught in the swell.
Coastguards ascertained that the boy, along with three friends, had been diving off the rocks. The casualty had been unable to climb back out and, after initially being buffeted by waves near the rocks, had been gradually carried further out to sea. An alert member of the public had used the 999 system to alert the Coastguard to the boy’s plight.
The Coastguard rescue team ensured that the remainder of the party were escorted safely off the rocks, as the inshore lifeboat picked up the teenager in the water. Fortunately, he had been wearing a wetsuit and had been able to keep himself afloat. However he was beginning to tire, as he was taken on board the ILB and delivered into the care of Coastguards, waiting at Portstewart Harbour to receive him. He was returned by Coastguards to the care of his family, and advice was given about the dangers of secondary drowning (caused by the effects of inhaled seawater).