Portrush RNLI had their first two callouts of 2016 in quick succession on Sunday.
The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was first launched around 2.30pm following reports of kayakers in difficulty at Kinnego Bay in Donegal.
The weather conditions at the time were difficult as the wind was in a northwesterly direction. Sea conditions were rough and it was bitterly cold.
Fortunately, before the lifeboat and its volunteer crew reached Kinnego Bay, Greencastle Coastguard reported that they had located the kayakers and were transporting them back to safety.
Less than an hour after returning to base, Portrush RNLI had their second call out of 2016, and the ALB was launched at 4pm to reports of a boat in difficulty at Benone Beach.
The weather conditions were difficult as the wind was in a southwesterly direction; sea conditions were moderate but the wind chill made it bitterly cold.
The search continued for some two hours with the coastguard combing the beach and a helicopter deployed to assist. The crew searched an area ranging from Benone beach over to Greencastle and Shrove off the Donegal Coast.
However, with the light failing rapidly and no sign of either a boat or persons in the water, the search was stood down for the night.
Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: “We couldn’t believe that we received another call out so soon after our first one of 2016, but once again the crew responded without hesitation. Our volunteers are always ready to go when the pager goes off, even on a bitter January afternoon.
“We searched the designated area for nearly three hours in very cold conditions. This is exactly the type of situations our volunteer crew are trained to do.”