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Diver airlifted to hospital after being rescued off coast of Rathlin Island

Published 19/07/2015

RNLI and local craft search for diver missing of the east coast of Rathlin Island. Pic: RNLI.
RNLI and local craft search for diver missing of the east coast of Rathlin Island. Pic: RNLI.
RNLI and local craft search for diver missing of the east coast of Rathlin Island. Pic: KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA.
A diver was airlifted to hospital after he went missing of the east coast of Rathlin Island while diving a wreck. Pic: KEVIN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

A diver has been airlifted to hospital after being rescued off the coast of Rathlin Island.

The diver was taken two Craigavon Area Hospital on Sunday afternoon where he is in a stable condition.

Portrush lifeboat volunteers were deployed shortly after 12.30pm following reports that the man, who had been diving a wreck with a group, was missing on the east side of Rathlin Island.

In a statement posted on their website, the RNLI said the search lasted approximately two hours when a local vessel located the diver four miles from his original location at approximately 2.30pm.

Red Bay RNLI helicopter and inshore boat, which were about to start a training exercise, were diverted to the incident.

Sligo Coast Guard helicopter was also scrambled to the scene while a number of local boats from Rathlin Island and Ballycastle joined the operation.

Speaking after the incident, Portrush RNLI Coxswain Des Austin said: "We are so relieved this afternoon that after almost two hours of searching the diver has been located safe and well.

"This was a multi-agency search and rescue effort where the emergency services were assisted greatly by a number of local vessels."

He added: "I would like to commend the diving party for raising the alarm as soon as they noticed one of their group had gone missing and praise the community effort that ensured this man was brought safely back to shore."

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