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Man dies on cruise liner anchored off Portrush

By Lesley Houston

Published 02/07/2015

The Wind Surf luxury cruise liner was docked in the bay at Portrush yesterday when a man on board the ship died
The Wind Surf luxury cruise liner was docked in the bay at Portrush yesterday when a man on board the ship died

A man has died on a sail-powered cruise liner docked just off the north Antrim coast.

The man, thought to be in his 50s and a foreign national, took ill on board the Wind Surf, which docked in waters off Portrush early yesterday morning.

The ship, which belongs to Windstar Cruises and is one of the world's largest sail-cruisers, arrived on the north coast yesterday at 6am.

Guests on board were seen being ferried on shore to allow them to visit Portrush and the surrounding area. But later in the afternoon a man was seen being removed from the ship aboard a smaller boat and taken to Portrush Harbour as people, understood to be the ship's staff, performed CPR and chest massage on him.

A woman in distress was observed in the boat, believed to be the man's partner.

Police who arrived were taken to the ship and were later seen returning to the harbour with the woman and a number of suitcases.

Another woman, who witnessed the operation but did not wish to be named, said the man was placed into an ambulance after he had passed away.

"The man was brought in with crew in a little boat that takes the passengers to the coast," she told the Belfast Telegraph. "There was no talk of any accident or anything, but we think he maybe had a heart attack or something.

"There were people, who looked like chefs, working on the man who looked like he was in his mid-fifties," the witness continued.

"They were working on him and pumping his chest and there was a woman with him and she looked very distressed."

She said that when the ambulance arrived the man was transferred into the emergency vehicle while police came to the aid of his partner, transporting their luggage from the boat to the shore.

The Wind Surf has visited Northern Ireland before and yesterday Twitter users posted photographs of it, welcome its return.

The boat, which is distinctive for its five masts standing over 160 feet tall, was expected to set sail for Scotland at around 9pm yesterday.

Police last night confirmed they were aware of the death but could not reveal any further details about its cause.

The Wind Surf is registered in the Bahamas and can carry up to 310 passengers, with a crew of 214.

It was launched in 1989 when it was christened Club Med 1.

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