#childsafety | Child of 5-years rescued from rip current on NI beach over weekend – teenage girls also get caught up in same ‘terrifying’ experience highlighting ‘some very important safety lessons’

The drama unfolded at East Strand, Portrush over the weekend according to a post on Coleraine Coastguard’s Facebook page, which revealed that a 9-year-old boy was also rescued after they were “swept out to sea near the Arcadia”.

Both boys were “brought to safety by one of the RNLI Lifeguards on duty nearby, assisted by a surfer who had also become aware that the children were in serious difficulties”.

The post added: “The children were given first aid by the Lifeguards, before being handed into the care of the Ambulance Service”.

General view of a quiet West Strand beach in Portrush, Co Antrim –

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The post adds that the Coastguard Team were called to another incident where “three bathers were seen struggling against the current further up the beach”.

“Thankfully, on this occasion, the three swimmers were able to make their own way ashore, where they were given appropriate safety advice by the Coastguard Team, before leaving the beach,” it added.

“Rip currents are dangerous, fast moving areas of water which can carry even a strong swimmer out to sea.

“Their location and speed can vary and they can be hard to spot

General view of the East Strand beach at Portrush, County Antrim –
Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

“The safest place on a beach like the East Strand is always in the areas patrolled by the Lifeguards”.

In another weekend post, Coleraine Coastguard reveals how the rip current left three teenagers in jeopardy.

The post reveals the three casualties were three teenage girls who had been caught in a rip current and were in danger of being swept further out to sea.

“Fortunately their cries for help had been heard by people walking on the beach, and the Coastguard had been alerted,” said the post.

“A member of the public had entered the water and had assisted all three girls to safety.

“Thankfully, after their terrifying ordeal, all three casualties were able to be collected from the scene by their parents.

“This serious incident highlights yet again some very important safety lessons:

– it is very dangerous to swim where you are not aware of the hazards and risks, and how to avoid them: it is much safer to stay within the area patrolled by RNLI Lifeguards;

– rip currents pose a particular risk on many of our beaches;

– swimming as darkness falls is not recommended: if you get into difficulty, your cries for help may not be heard and you will be very hard to locate in the water;

– always call 999 to alert the COASTGUARD if you think that someone is in difficulties”.

Following these incidents the Coastguard is repeating their advice to exercise caution when swimming in the sea and, where possible, to remain within the area patrolled by lifeguards.

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