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Dramatic rescue of man off Ballycastle Fair Head cliff in Northern Ireland

Published 28/09/2016

The man was winched to safety and uninjured.
The man was winched to safety and uninjured.

A man has been rescued from Ballycastle's Fair Head cliff.

He got into difficulty in the gale-force winds just before midnight on Tuesday.

Coastguard crews from Ballycastle and Coleraine attended as too did the Prestwick helicopter and the man had to be winched to safety. He was unharmed.

The Redbay lifeboat team was also deployed at the base of the cliff to provide cover in case the climber fell into the water during the rescue.

Norman Bridges from the Coastguard told the BBC the man had become "cragfast" which means he couldn't go up or down and those attempting the rescue struggled in the conditions.

"Due to the top of the cliff, they had very little soft ground to put their stakes into, so they had to actually tie their ropes to rocks and boulders and make natural holdfasts," he told BBC Radio Ulster.

"Then they lowered the casualty out over the edge, but the biggest thing last night - we had winds of gale force eight gusts and severe gale force nine - which on top of the cliff was pretty horrendous for those boys to be working in.

"They did a powerful job getting the casualty back up," Mr Bridges said.

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