A MAJOR air, sea and emergency services operation swung into action this afternoon after almost 100 people got into trouble on Strangford Lough during an abandoned international sailing competition.
Reports from the scene say ten people were injured and some have been taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald which declared a major incident to staff.
The incident happened during the GP14 world boating championship event at Killyleagh when around 20 out of 100 sailing dinghies were caught by a sudden gust of wind, tipping them over into Strangford Lough.
During the drama, 97 people, including children were in the water for a period before being plucked to safety.
A total of 67 people were rescued when the day of fun almost turned into disaster.
An Irish coastguard helicopter, RNLI lifeboats and paramedic teams all scrambled to the scene and rescue those tossed overboard.
Paramedic crews pitched mobile tents at the scene to treat those brought ashore who were suffering from the effects of the cold waters.
Bad weather had caused the event to be cancelled and around midday the boats were coming back to land when a sudden squall of wind lifted the boats out of the water, toppling them over.