14/08/2006

Conservative peer in sea rescue operation

A Northern Ireland Conservative peer has been involved in a sea rescue operation in the English channel.

Lord Glentoran, who entered the House of Lords in 1995, and Ian Murdoch, an off-duty coastguard, were sailing from Hamble in England towards Carrickfergus at around 3pm yesterday when the incident happened.

The pair, who were travelling on a yacht named the 'Lazy Life,' sighted another vessel in front of them letting off hand-held red flares, which indicated that they had a distress situation.

On approaching the yacht, they discovered a crew three women and a child, and were told that a man had gone overboard.

The 'Lazy Life' crew called the Coastguard, and began searching for the missing man.

Swanage Coastguard rescue team were dispatched to the scene, along with the Swanage RNLI lifeboat, an inshore lifeboat, and a rescue helicopter from Portland.

Lord Glentoran and Mr Murdoch managed to recover the man from the water, and took him back to his yacht, the Talisman.

Upon doing this, they then discovered one of the women unconscious.

The Coastguard helicopter, managed to get the woman off the vessel and subsequently transferred her to Poole General Hospital.

The remaining crew from the Talisman were taken to Swanage by coastguard, where they were examined by Ambulance personnel.

Jim Anderson, Watch Manager, Portland Coastguard said: “I am pleased that the man overboard was rescued and that we were able to quickly evacuate the lady who had sustained an injury.

Ian and Lord Glentoran did an excellent job in finding and recovering this man and also keeping us up to date with information regarding the situation with the lady who is now being treated in hospital.”

Commenting on the operation, Lord Glentoran, 71, said: I did what any other yachtsman would have done and I'm just happy that we were there to help."

Mr Murdoch, added: "It is part of my job so it was not a problem for me, I work with surf and rescue all the time and deal with people who are in difficulties."

(EF)

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