Richard Branson


In an unplanned visit in 1987, the wealthy British businessman Richard Branson, together with fellow entrepreneur and adventurer, Per Lindstrand, were brought into Portrush from the Irish Sea by the Royal Navy after their hot air balloon, the ‘Virgin Atlantic Flyer’, became uncontrollable during their attempt at the first trans-Atlantic trip in a hot air balloon. The balloon was approximately 21 storeys high and reached reported speeds of up to 130mph at 27,000 feet. Thankfully, both men survived the experience relatively unscathed, although Lindstrand had to endure two hours in the freezing water.