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Saturday 16 December 2017

Rescue drama after kayakers hit by freak wave

Members of the Coastguard on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Members of the Coastguard on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
The Coastguard at work
Lifeboat on the way to the base of cliffs near the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

Michelle Smyth

These are the dramatic pictures of a daring rescue below one of Northern Ireland's most iconic bridges.

Kayakers had to be rescued from below the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge on the Co Antrim coast after a freak wave struck their vessels at the weekend.

One of the rescued men, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was out kayaking with three of his friends near the bridge on Saturday when two of the men were knocked into the water and pushed towards rocks by a huge wave. "We are all fairly experienced kayakers and we would be out in the water a lot," said the kayaker, from Ballymena.

"It was a shock this happened. I would like to thank the Coastguard and RNLI for their speedy response. They carried out a challenging rescue with the utmost professionalism."

A vigilant National Trust employee raised the alarm and the Ballycastle and Coleraine Coastguard rushed to the scene, as well as Portrush Lifeboat. The two men, who had sought safety on rocks, were winched to safety by two rescue technicians and treated for minor injuries.

Irish Independent

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