Massive rescue effort

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JULY 9 -- More than 100 young Irish sailors needed rescuing last week after a sudden squall hit their flotilla in a race in the Irish Sea off Dublin.

A group of 110 children, all 16 or younger, were competing in the National Yacht Club junior regatta when the storm capsized many of their 91 boats, news reports say. A gale warning had apparently been issued the before the start of the two-day event, but conditions were calm and sunny when the race got under way.

“And then just suddenly — bang — went right up, the wind doubled in speed, and the fog came right in,” one of the young sailors says in a news report. “It all just happened so quickly … maybe 30 seconds.”

Some of the children managed to right their sailboats and head for shore, but others struggled in the water, reports say. An Irish Coast Guard helicopter, two lifeboats, and Irish navy vessel and a number of private boats assisted in the rescue.

Fifteen children and one adult were sent to an area hospital for treatment, reports say.

Jason Fell