Belfast Telegraph

Army of 200 searchers scours north coast for signs of missing woman Karen Coyles

By Anne Madden

More than 200 people have been braving storm-force winds on the north Antrim coast to search for missing woman Karen Coyles, who was last seen in the area on Sunday night.

The 47-year-old camogie player was described as “the life and soul” of Ballycastle Camogie Club and is well-known throughout Co Antrim.

As a second day of searching came to an end last night, friends and police have appealed for anyone who has had any sightings of Karen to contact them.

She was last seen around 7.30pm on Sunday in Ballycastle after captaining her club to victory in the All-Ireland seven-a-side camogie competition in Dublin.

Karen sent a text message to her older sister at 8pm on Sunday to say she would be collecting her, as usual, for work in the morning.

But that was the last anyone heard of her.

Both Karen and her sister work at the Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster, where the missing woman is an administrator in the School of Biomedical Sciences.

She never showed up to give her sister a lift and her car was later found at the entrance to McQuillan GAC club.

Karen’s silver Volkswagen Golf

was parked outside the gates of the club, of which she is a member, at around 7.45am on Monday. However, it is believed the vehicle had been inside the grounds over the weekend.

An extensive forensic examination was conducted at her house in McAuley Park, where she lived alone, on Monday night as police searched for clues to her disappearance.

Police and members of the Coastguard have been scouring the rocky coastline since Monday morning, but due to the high winds the police helicopter was grounded until yesterday.

The Red Bay RNLI lifeboat criss-crossed the seas between Fairhead and Kinbane Head, three miles west of Ballycastle. Coastguard rescue teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine have also searched the rugged cliffs and shoreline.

A spokeswoman for the Coastguard said: “It has taken a long time to search a relatively short stretch of coastline because it is so rugged. The winds picked up again this afternoon and we have to be very cautious for the safety of rescue teams. We are also concerned about members of the public who are helping the search teams in the area.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0845 600 8000.

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