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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Sea warnings follow dinghy death
Robert McMullan
Robert McMullan got into difficulties on a dinghy
There have been new warnings about sea safety following an incident in which a teenage boy died in County Londonderry.

Robert McMullan, 15, from Coleraine, died after he and a friend got into trouble in a dinghy at Castlerock.

He was dragged from the water and attempts were made to resuscitate him but he died later in hospital. His friend managed to swim to safety.

Coleraine councillor Timothy Deans said lifeguards could not be introduced to their beaches until the end of June.

The tragedy was discussed at a meeting of Coleraine Borough Council on Tuesday night.

"I think the emergency services proceeded very, very quickly," Mr Deans said.

"Unfortunately we have had one of these fatalities that no-one ever wished to see on our beaches.

"We will be meeting again to see if there was anything we could have done, but at this stage we are not going to be putting on lifeguards who are half-trained and don't have the proper equipment and are only doing a half-job - when we do something we want to do it right."
Downhill beach
The accident happened at Downhill beach

Two helicopters and lifeboats were involved in Tuesday's rescue operation.

The PSNI helicopter located the boy and guided the Irish Coastguard and Greencastle boats over to pick him up.

He was then lifted from the Coastguard boat into the Irish Coastguard helicopter.

The Coastguard has appealed to people not to use inflatables or lilo's in the sea, but if they do to make sure they are securely fastened to a point on the beach.

Sean McCarry of the UK Coastguard said people had to take precautions when they went to sea.

"These are things we try to avert as much as we can with sea-safety messages," he said.

Charles Cavanagh of the Irish Coastguard said that the death was a tragedy.

"Attempts were made to resuscitate, but a number of hours later he died in hospital," he said.

The Coastguard is urging people to take care at sea

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