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Man dies after Antrim coast cave rescue

By Adrian rutherford

Published 20/04/2010

A 36-year-old man has died from his injuries after becoming trapped in a cave on the Co Antrim coast despite a major rescue operation to save him.

Police, the ambulance service, the Coastguard and a Royal Navy helicopter were involved in the rescue operation at Whitehead.

He was spotted just below Blackhead Lighthouse shortly before 9am yesterday on rocks close to the water's edge.

The man, named locally as Roy McClean, was taken by helicopter from the mouth of the cave to Antrim Area Hospital for treatment, but died from his injuries.

Police are investigating the circumstances and a post-mortem examination will be carried out.

East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs Jnr said his thoughts were with Mr McClean’s family.

“This appears to be a tragic death and my sympathies are with this man’s family,” he said.

Diana Gadd from the coastguard said the rescue attempt involved an air and sea operation.

“The man was lying on rocks at the mouth of a cave near Blackhead Lighthouse,” she said.

“The Bangor inshore lifeboat was launched while the coastguard’s rope rescue team and |ambulance service were also tasked to the scene.

“They found the man in a critical condition and requested the Royal Navy helicopter from |Prestwick in Scotland, which transferred him on to Antrim Area Hospital.”

Police said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr McClean’s death.

In a separate incident, the |Coastguard dealt with a fishing boat in trouble at Carlingford Lough yesterday morning.

A lifeboat was sent to aid the boat, which had three people onboard.

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