Major Rescue As 80 Dinghy Race Vessels Capsize

A major rescue operation is under way after 80 vessels capsized during a dinghy race in Northern Ireland.

The incident happened as around 100 sailing dinghies were hit by bad weather in StrangfordLough, south of Belfast.

Thirteen rescue boats and two helicopters are at the scene.

A Maritime and Coastguard agency spokesman said: “Latest information suggests that 10 people have been injured, most showing signs of hypothermia.

“Ambulance crews are treating them on scene.

“It’s believed that all those in the water have been accounted for.

“However rescue units on scene, including the helicopters and lifeboats, are carrying out further searches to make sure.”

Bernard Roddy, from the RNLI, said heavy rain and strong winds suddenly hit the area and caused vessels to capsize.

The dinghies were taking part in the GP14 World Championship Races from the East Down Yacht Club near Killyleagh.

Strangford Lough is an area affected by powerful tides from the Irish Sea.

It is popular with watersports enthusiasts and a canoe trail has been laid out on the water.

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11 August 2014 | 2:46 pm – Source: orange.co.uk

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