Donaghadee Lifeboat

Party balloons trigger RNLI rescue operation

A BUNCH of party balloons triggered a Royal National Lifeboat Institution rescue operation at sea.

Donaghadee’s All-Weather Lifeboat, Saxon, launched around 8.00pm after reports of an object in the water off the coast of the Copeland Islands.

A witness described what appeared to be people in the water. The charity which saves lives at sea took the decision to launch its £2m lifeboat and at full speed it was at the scene within 15 minutes.

The crew found a bunch of helium-filled party balloons which had come down in the sea.

Lifeboat coxswain Philip McNamara said: “While this was a preventative operation, the lifeboat volunteers prefer to attend at an early stage to avoid any risk to life. An object in the water can be a danger to shipping.”