Children rescued from water at Northern Ireland beach

Three children have been rescued after being swept out to sea off the north coast of Co Antrim.

A member of the public spotted the three youngsters, a boy and two girls aged 10, 11 and 12, who had got into difficulty in the water at Ballycastle.

It has been reported that the trio had been paddling in a small river when they lost their footing and got swept out into the sea.

Nat Hunter, from Ballyvoy, told BBC News NI he was walking on the beach with his wife when he saw the children in the water.

He added: “They had started to panic and get stressed out, so I went to get the buoyancy aid up on the beach and went out to them.

“I threw the ring out to the child who was furthest away, about 50m out.”

Mr Hunter was helped by another man to bring the children to safety.

The coastguard, RNLI crews and ambulance service were all called to the scene.

The youngsters were assessed at the shore and then taken to the Causeway Hospital, where it is understood they are in a stable condition.