BALLINTOY HARBOUR

Old Coastguard Station Outer Harbour Quay

Sheep Island derives its name from a time when sheep were taken out by boat and grazed there during the summer months, now it is left for the birds to colonize and the occasional human to visit and gather dulse. The last big rock as you leave the harbour on the left hand side known as Rock-an-Stewart was the scene of a tragedy and brave rescue in April, 1984. The Giants Causeway guides where returning from their annual trip to gather spar from the caves at Kenbane Castle, this would later be displayed in small boxes and sold to the tourists on the pathway down to, and on the Causeway Stones during the summer months. On board were John, Hugh and James McLaughlin accompanied by Robert Hutchinson. A young boy name John McFaul whose parents lived at the Causeway and who was employed by John Robinson at Carnduff, near Ballycastle, took advantage of the boat ride home. There was a swell running which was producing a sizable roll on the sea, closer inshore it was creating breakers.  As they approached  Rock-an-Stewart a large swell wave broke and they were caught on the inside. The wave capsized the boat and flung everyone into the water. John McDonald who was manning the Coastguard Station had been watching the progress of the boat across the bay and witnessed the accident, he immediately rushed down to the harbour and was joined by John Jarrett and James McNeally (Coastguards) along with Bryan O'Roarke and Richard McKay (Fishermen), they quickly launched a boat and headed out into the breakers. Due to their skill and great courage they were able to rescue John and Hugh McLaughlin along with Robert Hutchinson, all three were still holding on to the upturned boat which was amongst broken water and close to the rocks but there was no sign of James McLaughlin or young John McFaul whose lives the ocean claimed. Reference: Coleraine Constitution, April 7th, 1894

  Back  

  Next