A Ballymena man has spoken of his ‘shock’ after a freak wave hit his group of kayakers while they were out in the water off Carrick-a-Rede on Saturday afternoon.
The man, who wished to remain anonymous, was out kayaking with three of his friends near the famous rope bridge when two of the men were knocked into the water and pushed towards rocks by a huge wave.
“We are all fairly experienced kayakers and we would be out in the water a lot. It was a shock this happened,” said the local man who thanked the Coastguard and RNLI for their speedy and professional response.
The alarm was raised at around 1pm by a National Trust employee reporting two kayakers had capsized and become stranded at the base of cliffs on Carrick-a-Rede island.
Both Ballycastle and Coleraine Coastguard rushed to the scene and both persons were winched back to the top of the cliff while Portrush Lifeboat crew assisted two other kayakers who were struggling in the heavy swell.
Chris Little, station officer with Coleraine Coastguard, said accessing the incident scene was difficult.
“Time was of the essence to get to these two men trapped at the bottom of the cliff.
“The equipment had to be carried to the rope bridge, down a number of steps and then across the bridge itself. That’s no mean feat,” he said.