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Ambulance service: Some sailors have hypothermia

The ambulance service responding to the incident in Strangford Lough has said that some people are suffering from hypothermia, UTV reporter Aidan Kennedy has tweeted:

Reports: 90-100 people fell into water during storm

UTV Editor Chris Hagan has tweeted that initial reports suggest between 90 and 100 people fell into the water in Strangford Lough, and that the first casualties have arrived on dry land:


Sailors were 'struggling to cope in the strong winds'

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said it responded to reports that sailors were struggling in the windy conditions, but that it is too early to tell how many people are involved in the incident in Strangford Lough.

A statement on the agency's website said:

The Coastguard is this afternoon coordinating a rescue response after approximately 80 sailing dinghies were hit by stormy weather in Strangford Lough.

Belfast Coastguard was first 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.

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 have been sent to the scene.

It is not clear at this time how many people are involved and if there are any injuries. A search and rescue operation is ongoing.

– Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Peru drug smuggler to be sent to N Ireland prison

A convicted drug smuggler jailed in Peru is set to be transferred to Northern Ireland where she will serve the rest of her sentence.

Michaella McCollum Connolly (left) and Melissa Reid. Credit: Police handout

Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, County Tyrone, and her friend Melissa Reid, from Glasgow, were jailed last year for six years and eight months.

The pair both admitted to trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million from the South American country to Spain.


Archbishop: War represents 'abject failure of humanity'

War must always represent the abject failure of humanity, the head of the Anglican church in Ireland has said.

Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke said commemorating the First World War could not be spiritually separated from the situation in Gaza and other recent conflicts.

The Caucasus front pictured during the First World War. Credit: AA / TT/TT News Agency/Press Association Images

Dr Clarke said: "War must always represent the abject failure of the human spirit and of humanity itself.

"It can never be other and we should never pretend it is other."

Hoey blames Blair for letters sent to On The Runs

One of Tony Blair's ex-ministers has said the former Prime Minister was responsible for the so-called "comfort letters" sent to Irish republican "on the runs".

Tony Blair has been blamed. Credit: Chris Jackson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour's Kate Hoey said: "Surely the real responsibility for all of this, whatever he did in terms of getting the peace process, must lie at the very heart of government, which was the letters that were coming from the Prime Minster to Gerry Adams saying we are going to sort this."

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