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10 sailors rescued from Strangford Lough

Members of the Coastguard leave the area close to the East Down Yacht Club, Killyleagh. Picture: PA

Members of the Coastguard leave the area close to the East Down Yacht Club, Killyleagh. Picture: PA

  • by CRAIG BROWN
 

TEN sailors have been injured after a regatta in Northern Ireland was hit by a freak burst of wind, the Maritime and Coastguard agency said.

The casualties mostly suffered from the effects of hypothermia after 80 sailing dinghies in the Strangford Lough were hit by a sudden change in the weather.

Two were taken to hospital with minor injuries, including a fractured wrist and dislocated knee.

Some 97 people are believed to have ended up in the water after boats capsized.

Belfast Coastguard was first contacted just before 2pm reporting that some of the boats had overturned, while others were struggling to cope in the strong winds and squally showers.

The sailors had been competing in the Boating World Championships GP 14 event off Killyleagh.

The Maritime and Coastguard agency said all sailors had been accounted for after a major incident response and a search and rescue operation swung into effect.

 

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