Lifeguards have rescued a family of six – including four children – after they got into difficulty while bodyboarding at Castlerock beach.
The man, woman and kids were spotted waving for help just outside the safety flag zone at around 5.30pm on Sunday.
According to the RNLI, they got caught in what appeared to be a flash rip – a strong current running out to sea.
A senior lifeguard went into the sea with a rescue tube where all casualties were found to be out of their depth in the water.
Crews reached the children and carried them to back to the shore, followed by their parents, where they were checked over to ensure they hadn’t taken on any water.
All were safe and well.
Mike Grocott from the RNLI said: “The family who got into difficulty this evening raised the alarm and were quickly spotted by a senior lifeguard who responded rapidly and thankfully all six have been brought safely to shore.
“Rip currents often catch people out because they can be difficult to spot, and research shows that most people don’t know how to identify one.
“They are a major cause of incidents that the RNLI’s lifeguards deal with each season.”
With high temperatures expected across Northern Ireland this week, Mr Grocott advised anyone heading to the beach to be careful.
“If you are planning on visiting a beach this summer, choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which mark the safest area to swim and are an indicator that lifeguards are on duty,” he explained.
“Anyone who gets caught in a rip should try to remain calm, raise their arm in the air to signal for help like the family member did.
“If they feel they can swim, they should swim parallel to the beach until free of the current, and then head for shore. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call on the help of a lifeguard or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard”.