Belfast Telegraph

Body found in sea near unsafe cliff path in Northern Ireland

Police are investigating the circumstances of a man's death after his remains were recovered from the sea off the Co Antrim coast
Police are investigating the circumstances of a man's death after his remains were recovered from the sea off the Co Antrim coast
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Police are investigating the circumstances of a man's death after his remains were recovered from the sea off the Co Antrim coast.

The body was found near the lighthouse at Blackhead Path in Whitehead yesterday afternoon.

The popular path was closed last August after engineers reported it was on the brink of collapse.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said it was called at 12.08pm.

The Coastguard, Fire Service, PSNI and the Air Ambulance were also dispatched to the scene.

The Fire Service said specialist rescue team appliances were dispatched from Belfast, Whitehead, Carrickfergus and Larne.

Ulster Unionist councillor Mark McKinty said he was shocked by the death.

"I spoke to a few people at the promenade when it all kicked off and they were quite stunned to see the scale of the operation," he said.

"I would use that area a lot with my family and for walking my dog.

"I don't know exactly where it took place, but I know part of the area is closed off by the council for repairs, which would make it more dangerous than usual.

"I was actually speaking to a lady who did a fundraiser for the Air Ambulance last week.

"She was completely taken aback it was on her front doorstep so soon after."

He added: "I would pass on my condolences to the man's family circle.

"The wider community are also in shock today and awaiting further details on what actually happened."

Belfast Coastguard said Bangor and Larne lifeboats as well as Larne Coastguard and Prestwick rescue helicopters all attended.

In February Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said that a tendering process for repairs to Blackhead Path was under way with the successful company expected to be appointed this month.

It added: "We would urge the public to pay attention to the safety signs in place due to continued rock fall. Plans of the upcoming works will be given to local businesses and residents in the coming weeks to keep them all informed."

The path moved by almost a foot over the course of 2018.

But it was reported in December that people were ignoring warning signs and barriers to stay away from the path, potentially putting themselves in danger.

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