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200 people back on land after sailing dinghies rescue

More than 200 people have been returned to shore after 87 sailing dinghies were hit by stormy weather in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.

The Bangor and Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Teams, the Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI lifeboats, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter along with the helicopter from RAF Valley were sent to the scene, along with PSNI and ambulance crews.

We have now been told by our rescue units on scene that everyone has safely returned to shore and that no one is missing. We believe 20 people ended up in the water after their boats capsized this afternoon, 10 of them requiring medical attention. The weather conditions on scene have been pretty treacherous, with winds gusting up to 60mph.

– Liam Colquhoun, Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard.

Some 10 people were injured, with some of them showing signs of hypothermia.

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


Ambulances leave scene of sailing incident

UTV report Judith Hill has just tweeted this image of Strangford Lough, adding that several ambulances have just left the scene.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland said that casualties were being brought to the Ulster Hospital (Dundonald).

Live helicopter tracking reveals region of search

A website tracking the movements of the Coastguard helicopter shows the part of the lough that is being targeted in the search and rescue operation.

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