Children rescued by local man after being swept out to sea in Ballycastle
THREE children were rescued on Wednesday night after they got into difficulties while playing in the water off the north Antrim coast.
The alarm was raised after members of the public spotted the children, who were believed to have been wearing rubber rings, being dragged out to sea off Ballycastle beach at around 7.30pm.
The boy and two girls were believed to have been playing in a small river when they lost their footing and got swept out into the sea.
Q Radio's Bob Huggins speaks to Nat Hunter about the children's rescue
Local man Nat Hunter was walking along the beach with his wife when he spotted the children playing in the mouth of the river where it meets the sea.
He said: "I grabbed the buoyancy aid with the long tether on it and started making my way into the water.
"They're very shaken up, you could tell they'd been panicking."
Mr Hunter described how he and another man helped bring the children to safety.
"By the time we got them up onto the beach there were a few bystanders helping out who got coats around them. The coastguard arrived just a few minutes after that," he said.
This video was captured by Matt Steele who was at the scene.
The coastguard, Red Bay and Portrush RNLI crews and paramedics were all called to the scene.
All three children, aged 10, 11 and 12 were rescued and were checked over by paramedics.
It is understood they suffered from hypothermia after being in the water for around an hour.
Lawrence Cummings from the Belfast Coastguard, said: "There have been some very observant people on shore and we have been getting reports from people throughout".
"All three have been assessed at the shore."