Belfast Telegraph

Three people thrown from yacht as it crashes into Strangford turbine

RNLI rescues two adults and a child from stricken vessel

An RNLI lifeboat has rescued three people from Strangford Lough after their yacht crashed into a tidal turbine.

The Belfast Coastguard received a report at about 11am on Sunday of a sailing yacht colliding with the SeaGen turbine.

An eyewitness described seeing two of the people thrown into the water as the mast was torn from the yacht.

Two adults and a child were on board when the accident happened. A nearby boat sailed to the rescue.

The three people are not believed to have been injured but the child has been taken to hospital to be checked over.

Portaferry RNLI towed the yacht to shore.

Local SDLP Councillor Gareth Sharvin was at the scene when the yacht was being recovered.

He said: "After the yacht highlighted issues to the coastguard, we witnessed a quick manner in which the coastguard went about in protecting and securing the yacht and the three individuals on board.

"The local ferry also went out to assist, with the help of local vessels in the area and safety was guaranteed.

"The child on board has been taken to the local Downe hospital for precaution.

"The great commitment and effort from the local vessels, RNLI and coastguard, all three were taken to land safely."

The SeaGen turbine, the world's first commercial-scale tidal turbine, was installed in May 2008.

The Belfast Telegraph reported in April that the turbine, which is bolted to the bed of Strangford Lough, would run continuously through the summer so the operators could see what happens when seals and porpoises swim close to the blades.

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