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Thursday, September 2, 1999 Published at 22:37 GMT 23:37 UK

UK: Northern Ireland

Women dial for helicopter rescue

Seaking helicopter flew from Scotland for rescue

Four women who went for a stroll below the highest cliffs in Northern Ireland dialled coastguards on a mobile phone to say they were stranded and needed rescued.

The 999 call from the woman at Fair Head on the famous north Antrim coast was received by Belfast coastguard.

A rescue helicopter was scrambled from HMS Gannet at Prestwick near Glasgow.

A coastguard spokesman at Belfast said: "We believe the women were American visitors.

Stranded among boulders

"They were stranded in a boulder field at the foot of Fair Head and called for help."

Coastguards launched the local Red Bay lifeboat which remained off the rocky coastline while the helicopter winched the women on board.

The group was then flown a short distance to be set down at Ballycastle golf club.

Members of a coastguard cliff rescue team were positioned at the top of the 500ft high cliff during the rescue.

Liam Colqhon from Belfast Coastguard said the four women were lucky their emergency telephone message got through.

"The proximity of the cliff was affecting the call signal but they were lucky it just hit the satellite right", he said.

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