Body of young man recovered from sea near Dunluce Castle
A young man has died after getting into difficulty in the sea, despite his friends’ efforts to save him.
The alarm was raised just after 5pm yesterday after one of a group of four swimmers got into difficulty close to Dunluce Castle in the Bushmills area of Co Antrim.
Emergency services, including coastguard teams, the RNLI, rescue helicopter, ambulance service and police, attended the major incident.
Judith McNeice, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said the swimmer’s friends made “valiant efforts to try and save him”.
“The young man (in his late teens) was pulled from the water to the beach by Portrush Lifeboat but unfortunately, after being treated, he was pronounced deceased,” she told the BBC.
“Although it was an absolutely beautiful day, the north coast is notorious for having a large swell even in the most benign of weather so there is a risk even on a lovely day like that to people going in and swimming or jumping off rocks.
“The others were trying to help their friend and they made valiant efforts to try and rescue him. One of them suffered some minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
“I’m sure it will be extremely upsetting for them but they can take some comfort in the fact that they did everything they could for their friend.”
Ms McNeice urged the public to be wary of the sea, warning of hidden dangers below the surface such as rocks and strong currents.
“We would just encourage people to just be extremely careful, especially at this particularly strange time we are all going through at the moment, and make sure they go to lifeguarded beaches if they want to swim, that they are properly equipped, and check the weather and tides before they go,” she added.
A PSNI spokesman said officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious,” he added.
MLA Maurice Bradley told Causeway Coast Community: “It’s a tragedy and I would express my deepest sympathy to the immediate family and extended family circle on their loss. The north coast is a wonderful place but a very dangerous place and I would urge caution in and around the cliff edges and rocks.”
East Derry assemby member Claire Sugden described it as a “heart-breaking loss”.
“I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.
“I commend those young people who made every effort to rescue their friend and also the emergency services who attended the incident and brought others to safety."