Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 20:36 UK

Sea plan fans' hopes back afloat

City fan aboard the trawler
The fans were expecting a 12-hour trip on the trawler

A group of 12 Manchester City fans who looked like missing their team's Uefa Cup qualifier on the Faroe Islands have been thrown a lifeline by an airline.

The supporters had chartered a 72ft (22m) fishing trawler to take them the 200 miles from Shetland - but the trip was cancelled because of bad weather.

They were resigned to making the long trip back home but now a Faroes-based airline has agreed to pick them up.

The Atlantic Airways flight has been chartered for the group free of charge.

The Uefa Cup qualifier between City and EB/Streymur kicks-off on Thursday.

Airline President Magni Arge told the BBC he would be personally travelling on the flight to greet the fans.

Leighton Gobbett
The skipper said it was just not possible to take the boat out unfortunately
Leighton Gobbett

He said: "We've agreed to help these Manchester City supporters because this is a great event in the Faroes having Manchester City here.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show there is an airline based in the Faroes which can serve both Shetland and the Faroes Islands and we've got some sponsors to help us make this feasible."

The supporters had driven eight hours from Manchester to Aberdeen and endured a 12-hour ferry trip, only to be given the bad news about their charter on Wednesday morning.

The skipper of the converted trawler, The Three Sisters, told group organiser Leighton Gobbett that it was not safe to attempt the 24-hour crossing from Lerwick.

Speaking before the airline stepped in, Mr Gobbett said the weather was simply "too rough", with force 8 gales and waves of up to 16.4ft (5m) high.

"The skipper said it was just not possible to take the boat out unfortunately," said Mr Gobbett.

"We've actually said we want to go out in whatever conditions... We were all quite happy to hop on this morning and go for it but he said it really was too dangerous."

Man City given Faroes Uefa task
01 Jul 08 |  Europe


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The Sun City fans hire Cup trawler - 29 hrs ago
Ananova Long trawl to cup tie - 29 hrs ago
Sunday Mirror Manchester City fans hire 72ft trawler to get to Uefa Cup game in the Faroe Islands - 30 hrs ago
Mirror A Blues cruise - 33 hrs ago
Evening Standard Twelve Manchester City fans find Three Sisters willing to carry them to the Faroe Islands - all for a UEFA Cup qualifier - 49 hrs ago

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