Home 5 News 5 Five-year-old boy is pulled from river in Ballymena

Five-year-old boy is pulled from river in Ballymena

A five-year-old boy has been airlifted to hospital after he was pulled out of a river in Ballymena, County Antrim.

A multi-agency search operation began on Saturday afternoon after reports that a child fell into the Braid River.

The five-year-old was recovered from the water at 15:04 GMT, a spokesman from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Ambulance Service (NIAS) said.

He added that the boy was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

“The thoughts of all involved in the rescue are with the young boy and his family,” the spokesman said.

The NIAS was alerted to an incident at 13:04 GMT and despatched the air ambulance, an A&E crew and a doctor to the scene.

At least four PSNI Land Rovers, firefighters and the Community Rescue Service were also involved in the operation which began at the Ecos Centre, a nature park off the Broughshane Road.

The search then moved along the river, towards the Galgorm Castle Golf Club.

The child travelled more than 6 km (four miles) along the river from the point where he entered the water to the point where he was pulled out.

Sean McCarry, regional commander of the Community Rescue Service, said the boy “accidently fell into the River Braid near the Ecos Centre at Ballymena and was quickly swept downstream”.

“Despite valiant efforts by rescuers form PSNI, the Community Rescue Service and NIFRS, the child was carried a considerable distance downstream in the fast flowing river,” he said.

“A police helicopter continuously relayed the child’s position to the rescue teams as they frantically leapfrogged each other in attempts to keep up and complete a rescue.

“As a result of the professional coordination of the responding rescuers, a child was recovered some miles downstream and immediately transferred to the awaiting air ambulance.

“At this time, the child’s condition is unconfirmed.”

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