POOR WEATHER CALLS OFF SEARCH FOR MISSING POLISH FISHERMAN

Storm force winds prevented the 118 Irish coastguard rescue helicopter from continuing searches off the north Antrim coast on Sunday

Storm force winds prevented the 118 Irish coastguard rescue helicopter from continuing searches off the north Antrim coast on Sunday

COASTGUARDS have called off their their search on Sunday for a man missing after falling into the sea on the north Antrim coast.

It follows poor weather conditions which affected rescue vessels and helicopters involved in the search for the 38-year-old Polish man.

He was fishing on rocks at Ramore Head in Portrush around 4.30 pm on Saturday afternoon when he fell into the icy waters.

The PSNI said at lunchtime on Sunday that the search had been called off because of the deteriorating weather conditions.

A spokesperson said storm force winds had made search conditions too dangerous.

“The conditions will be continuously reviewed with a view to recommencing the search as soon as it is safe and practical to do so,” said the spokesperson.

“Police remind members of the public not to attempt to carry out any independent searches.

“There is a very real risk to life in untrained and inexperienced individuals attempting to undertake this type of work particularly in the midst of severe weather conditions.”

The search involving Portrush lifeboats, Coleraine and Ballycastle coastguard teams, a police helicopter and an Irish coastguard helicopter was called off at 8 pm on Saturday night due to fading light.

Other local vessels also joined in search.

Coleraine coastguard station officer Chris Little said: “A very intensive search was carried out all over the area adjacent to Ramore Head and expanded out eastwards and westwards as the search progressed.

“However, as yet no trace has been found of the missing man.”

Robert Cardwell, Portrush Lifeboat operations manager, said: “Various items of clothing etc have been found in the water, but at the minute no person has been found.

“There was a big, heavy, swell today and he was angling, as far as we know, and he’s probably got washed off by a wave.”

It was the second search on Saturday on the north Antrim coastline.

A 45-year-old man is said to be in a critical condition in the Causeway Hospital after being rescued from the water at Portstewart.

The Irish coastguard helicopter winched the man to safety after he was reported in the water shortly after 6 pm.

 

 

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