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Students rescued by Sligo Helicopter

5th July 2009

Six female students who were out on a walk as part of a Duke of Edinburgh award expedition are in the process of being airlifted from boulder fields at Fair Head near Ballycastle in Northern Ireland after being reported overdue.

The six girls, aged between 17 and 24 last spoke to their instructor at 5.30 pm this evening (4th July) when they told her that they had taken the lower route rather than the upper route at Fair Head.  When the girls had still not returned at 10.30 pm, the instructor called Police.  The Police in turn requested Coastguard assistance from Belfast Coastguard.

The Police helicopter has already been to the scene with its forward looking infrared camera and located the girls.  It has airlifted two of them, who were separated from the other four, to safety.  Additional equipment is needed to airlift the other four, so the Irish Coastguard helicopter is now on scene.  The terrain at their location is hazardous, being within a boulder field at the bottom of 120 metre cliffs.   Coleraine and Ballycastle Coastguard Rescue Teams are also on scene, assisting with communications.

Ian Murdock, Belfast Coastguard says:

“It was a relief that all six girls were located so quickly. They were well equipped for this expedition and the conditions on scene are very favourable. The Sligo helicopter is now on scene and preparing to extract the girls.

 

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