Northern Ireland

Man winched to safety after falling into ship hold

A man has been rescued after falling into a grain hold on a ship moored at Belfast.

He had fallen 20 metres into the hold on the vessel at Sinclair Wharf on Friday night.

Firefighters had to first get him onto a stretcher and then use a special rope system to get him out.

He was taken to hospital with suspected fractures. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has begun an investigation.

Lenny Entwhistle, from the Fire and Rescue Service, said it was a difficult and unusual incident.

"Because of his fractures, we couldn't actually take him out through the normal route through corridors and tunnels," he said.

"We had to mount the operation from the deck of the ship to the bottom of the hold, about 20m.

"We had to put him in specialist stretchers, and working alongside the paramedics, we raised him through the 20m height onto the deck of the ship."