Yesterday evening just as the previous incident at Portrush was finishing, Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team were retasked to Castlerock, following a report of two girls cut off by the tide, one of whom was reported as having been injured. Ballycastle Coastguard Team, both Portrush Lifeboats and the RNLI Lifeguards in the area were also tasked to assist.
A spokesperson for Coleraine Coastguard said “The Lifeguards managed to locate one teenage girl at the base of a 100 foot cliff, just below the caravan park. One lifeguard and one crew member from the Inshore Lifeboat landed on the rocks to assist the stranded girl, who was now hypothermic, distressed and exhausted from having tried to swim to safety. She had also sustained a number of abrasions from making contact with the rocks. Although the spring tide was rising rapidly, her condition made a rescue by sea very difficult.
It was therefore decided to carry out a Coastguard Rope Rescue. A Coastguard Rope Rescue Technician descended the cliff and brought the stranded girl to safety, just as the waves broke over the rocky platform where she had sought refuge.
At the cliff top she was given first aid by the Coastguard Team and by a nurse who had volunteered her services. She was reunited with her worried parents and with her friend who had managed to swim to safety and had turned up at the door of an apartment near the beach looking for help.
Both girls were taken to hospital by Ambulance, as a precaution against secondary drowning. Subsequent enquiries by Coastguards at the scene, located two teenage boys who had also been part of the original group of four young people who had been attempting to cross the rocks towards Castlerock beach. They had also sustained lacerations and abrasions.
Thanks to the speed with which the alarm was raised, the coordinated response of a large number of Coastguard, RNLI and NIAS personnel, and the assistance of members of the public, a tragedy was averted.
Please do not attempt to cross rocks. If you do find yourself cut off by the tide, or see someone else in difficulties, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard”.
Image Credit : Coleraine Coastguard