Larne RNLI rescued three women from a hazardous area off the Antrim Coast last night (Friday July 29) after their yacht got into difficulty.
The women were travelling from Norway to the Caribbean after coming through the Caledonian canal, and were heading to Belfast when their six metre vessel suffered engine failure seven miles north-east of Larne.
The yacht crew raised the alarm at approximately 11.30pm, and Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Norman Surplus launched at 11.45pm.
The RNLI vessel made its way to the scene near the Highland perch, an area far from the coastline known to be hazardous due to its shallow water.
Weather conditions at the time were excellent, with light to no wind blowing and good visibility despite the darkness.
On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member transferred onto the yacht where he firstly checked that the three crew members were safe and well.
The lifeboat crew then proceeded to work with the vessel’s crew to establish a towline before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour. On arrival the all-weather lifeboat was met by the station’s inshore lifeboat, which helped to put the boat on the mooring at the end of the call-out.
Reacting to the incident, Larne RNLI Coxswain Norman Surplus said: ‘The three women did the right thing tonight and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty and thankfully all three are safe and well and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey.
‘We would encourage anyone visiting the coast this summer, to remember to respect the water.
“When sailing, always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it.
“Always check the weather forecast and tide times.
“Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time.
“Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine and always carry tools and spares,” he concluded.