Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Sailing fraternity rallies for gutted Carrickfergus club

Firefighters battle the blaze at Carrickfergus Sailing Club last night

The sailing community has rowed in with offers of support after a fire gutted a major sailing club in Co Antrim.

Up to seven fire appliances battled the blaze at the club buildings at Rodgers Quay in Carrickfergus at 11.30pm on Friday.

The fire which destroyed the building is thought to have been started by an electrical fault.

There were no reports of any injuries, but a representative for the area said the sailing club and businesses based around it were destroyed by the blaze.

Several offers have been made from others in the sailing fraternity to help the club, which has been at the site for 35 years\[e.hagan\], in any way they can.

On the burnt-out club’s Facebook page, search and rescue volunteers with Lagan Search & Rescue, Belfast Lough Sailability — which provides sailing for the disabled — and others have offered their help and support.

Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson visited the scene during the night of the blaze.

“I am extremely saddened by the destruction of Carrickfergus sailing club. It is one of our best assets and played a key role in the local community. This is a major loss for the town.

“When I went down to see what had hapened I was shocked by the utter devastation that this fire has caused.

“Many youth groups regularly use it andI know they will shocked by the loss of the club.

“However, I hope that the club can get together quickly to go about rebuilding it.”East Antrim DUP Assembly member David Hilditch said: “The sailing club is an integral part of Carrickfergus and the local community, particularly obviously the sea frontage and indeed the maritime development of Carrickfergus.

“There is also a number of associated businesses there, and indeed a family franchise restaurant within the complex.

“It was a very popular location.”

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