Northern Ireland

Three rescued after yacht hits Strangford turbine

Image caption The turbine where the accident happened on Sunday morning

Three people, including a child, have been rescued after their yacht crashed into a tidal turbine at Strangford Lough.

Two of them were in the water for a short time in the accident that happened at about 11:00 BST on Sunday.

Another boat sailed to the rescue and picked them up. There are no reports of serious injuries.

An eye witness said the mast had been torn from the yacht and people on board had been thrown into the water.

It is understood at least one of the three crew from the yacht was taken to hospital to be checked out for the effects of being in cold water.

Portaferry lifeboat went to the scene and the damaged yacht was towed to Strangford.

Paddy McLaughlin from Red Bay RNLI said his crews dealt with a number of incidents over the weekend.

"We were tasked by Belfast Coastguard to rescue five people that were onboard a vessel some miles off shore, also three chaps on a jet ski had set out from Ballycastle on Friday morning going to the Mull of Kintyre and had ran into some difficulty and ended up in Stranraer."

Mr McLaughlin said his colleagues in all the other life boat stations in Northern Ireland had also had a very busy weekend with lots of callouts.

"The good weather is bringing lots of people to the sea but the sea is a very dangerous place," he said.

"They've got to wear life jackets, they've got to have some means of communicating if they are in trouble and of course, let people know where they're going, when they're going and when they're going to return."

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