Four people and dog rescued from cave

Coastguards recover the three uninjured tourists and their dog from the cave.
Coastguards recover the three uninjured tourists and their dog from the cave.

Four adults and a dog were rescued from the cave beneath Dunluce Castle on Sunday afternoon.

The drama began at 4.45pm approximately when the Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team was tasked, along with colleagues from Ballycastle Coastguard and the duty Senior Coastguard Operations Officer, to assist NIAS paramedics dealing with an injured man in the sea cave below the Castle.

Coastguards assisted with the evacuation of the casualty by stretcher to Portrush Inshore Lifeboat which, thanks to the calm sea conditions, was able to make its way into the cave.

The casualty was then transferred to the Portrush All-weather Lifeboat which was waiting offshore, before being winched aboard Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 999. He was then transferred to hospital in Belfast.

After the injured man had been evacuated from the cave, Coastguards used rope rescue equipment to assist his three colleagues and their dog, who were also in the cave, to the safety of the path above.

It is believed that the injured man and his friends had been making their way into the cave when he had lost his footing and tumbled down the steep slope to the stones below. The incident was coordinated by Belfast Coastguard Operation Centre.

Coleraine Coastguard Station Officer, Chris Little, commented: “Evacuating an injured casualty from such an unusual location called for a perfectly synchronised response from all the emergency services involved.”

He added, “We would urge anyone visiting our beautiful coastline to stay well away from caves.”