The five men rescued from Lough Neagh on Sunday past, had been to a local festival in Toome, before they began the usually 25-minute journey across the Lough.
They left the Battery Harbour, Ardboe in a ‘rib’ (rigid inflatable boat) boat around 1.30am on August 24, but got disorientated on the Lough. One of the men called for emergency services, two hours after they took off.
The men, who are thought to be in their 40s and 50s, were spotted in the water by a police plane and two lifeboats and a Coastguard boat were launched.
It was discoverd their boat had a burst tube which left them an extremely vulnerable position, as they were without life-jackets, navigation and distress equipment.
LNR were able to rescue the men and make their way back to base by 6.20am this morning, after being lost for hours.
They were found in Antrim Bay and were towed to shore at Ballyginniff.
Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne has praised the emergency services in their quick response in rescuing five men from Lough Neagh on Sunday night.
Mr Milne said, “The Coastguard and other emergency services deserve praise for their quick response to an emergency on Lough Neagh when five men got into difficulties.
“The men had got disorientated due to the darkness but thankfully they were brought ashore safe and sound.
“The lough can be a very dangerous place especially at night and I would appeal to anyone taking to the water to ensure that they are properly prepared with the correct equipment and having taken professional advice.”