A major rescue operation is under way at a youth World Cup sailing event at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The event hosted by East Down Yacht club was struck by a major storm at about 2pm as competitors were going through their paces on day two of the five day championships.
Belfast Coastguard said that the dinghies were hit by a sudden squall and several boats capsized. Ninety seven adults and children were reported to be in the water. Bangor and Portaferry rescue teams, the Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI lifeboats and two helicopters from the Irish Coast Guard and RAF Valley are involved in the operation. All 97 people who were capsized have been accounted for. Ambulance crews treating casualties at the scene say that nine people were treated for injuries. One with a head wound and the remainder reported to be suffering from hypothermia. Ulster Hospital has been declared as the receiving centre for all casualties.
Strangford Lough, 21 miles from Belfast is noted for its powerful and unpredictable currents.