Northern Ireland

Two men rescued from burning boat in Ballycastle

A boat carrying two people burst into flames yesterday evening in the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island in Co Antrim. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
A boat carrying two people burst into flames yesterday evening in the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island in Co Antrim. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia A boat carrying two people burst into flames yesterday evening in the waters between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island in Co Antrim. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Two men were rescued by the RNLI last night after their boat burst into flames off the north Antrim coast.

The 18ft speedboat caught fire a number of miles off-shore, between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island, in Co Antrim.

The pair abandoned ship when the flames broke out and were rescued by a passing yacht before being transferred on to a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) vessel shortly after 8pm.  

At the time of the incident, the seas were described as calm. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
At the time of the incident, the seas were described as calm. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia At the time of the incident, the seas were described as calm. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

The RNLI said the men were found floating in calm water and brought to Ballycastle where they were tended to by paramedics.

It is understood the two people onboard jumped into the sea and were rescued by a passing boat. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
It is understood the two people onboard jumped into the sea and were rescued by a passing boat. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia It is understood the two people onboard jumped into the sea and were rescued by a passing boat. Picture by Kevin McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

The boat sank at 9.40pm.

Red Bay RNLI Helm Gary Fyfe said: “Thankfully we had excellent conditions this evening and both people were safely recovered from the water.

"The fire took hold quickly and they made the correct decision to evacuate the vessel.  We would advise people to carry a means of calling for help and to always wear a lifejacket.”