Newry man drowns in bodyboarding tragedy
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
A YOUNG man from Newry drowned after being carried out to sea by a rip current while he was bodyboarding in Portrush on Friday evening.
Stephen Pentony got into difficulty in the water just before 6pm and was later found in the sea by a search and rescue team before being rushed to Causeway Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
According to Coleraine Coastguard, the 25-year-old became separated from two friends while they were bodyboarding off the West Strand in Portrush.
At the time of the incident, the Coastguard said there were "strong rip currents in the bay".
A statement from Coleraine Coastguard said: "On Friday, May 16, just before 1800, a serious incident occurred in the West Bay Portrush. Following a 999 report to Belfast Coastguard of a bodyboarder in difficulty, Coleraine Coastguard and both Portrush Lifeboats were tasked to the scene.
“A paramedic Rapid Response Vehicle and Ambulance were also tasked. A male casualty who had been bodyboarding in the bay had become separated from his two friends and had been carried further out to sea.
“He was located by the Inshore Lifeboat, taken on board and landed at the Lifeboat Station where he received immediate attention from paramedics, supported by Coastguard and Lifeboat personnel.
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He was then transferred by ambulance to the Causeway Hospital. At the time of the incident there were strong rip currents in the bay."
A rip current is a strong, narrow channel of water flowing towards the sea from near the shore and can reach speeds of eight feet per second.
A police spokesperson said: "Police received a report that a man had got into difficulties whilst bodyboarding off the West Strand, Portrush on Friday. Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, RNLI and HM Coastguard attended. The man was treated at the scene and taken to hospital where life was pronounced extinct."
Mr Pentony's Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Tuesday, May 20) at St Catherine's Church, Dominic Street, at 11am, with burial afterwards in Monkshill Cemetery.
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