Ten people rescued from Lough Neagh in one week

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Ten people have been rescued in Lough Neagh over the past week including kayakers trapped on stormy waters.

Lough Neagh Rescue had five call outs including boaters and jet-skiers who had broken down.

Coming into a busy season for the rescue service, a spokesperson for LNR said there are precautions users of the lough can take to help prevent emergency situations.

The charity is holding a free Water Safety and Environmental Awareness Education event at its Kinnego station on June 4, from 11am-4pm.

And they would encourage anyone with an interest in the lough to come along.

As well as representatives from LNR and government departments, Lough Neagh Partnership and the Fishermen’s Co-operative will also be there.

Speaking about the large number of rescues made in the last week, crew member Paul Magee said: “As Lough Neagh Rescue prepares for their Water Safety and Environmental Awareness day, there were 10 people rescued this week.

“There were five shouts and on one of the call-outs we went back a second day.

“There was a vessel aground and we went back to get people off it,” he said.

Asked what his advice would be for people deciding to go out on the lough in the good weather, he said: “When it’s good weather it’s time to make preparations.

“Mechanical preparations, equipment preparations and checks.

“Do a bit of package planning and that’s the sort of advice that we’re going to give out on our safety day.

“It’s to help prevent weeks like we’ve just had.”

Crew member Paul Duffy added: “There have been a lot of boat breakdowns, but this time of year we always get that anyway.”

His advice was for lough-users to stay close to the marina.

“Make sure the boat is serviced,” he added, “that you have enough fuel and make sure you know where you’re going and that you have enough supplies.”

He has also advised boaters, kayakers and other lough users to check the weather forecast before heading out as conditions on Lough Neagh can, and do, change very quickly.

In the last week, LNR has rescued a lone jetskier who broke down between Rams Island and Hog Point on May 9, arriving after a passing fishing boat had taken them aboard.

Just the day before Ardboe crew were dispatched to the aid of a small fishing-type boat, after the person onboard got disoriented but had stayed beside a cardinal marker and was able to read it’s number.

While on May 11 a vessel was stranded in the Gawleys Gate Bay area because its engine failed.