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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 05:48 GMT 06:48 UK
Better emergency cover for island
Rathlin Island
Rathlin Island's picturesque scenery attracts visitors
Enhanced emergency cover is being provided on Rathlin Island with the opening of a new rescue station.

It is a joint project between the Fire and Rescue Service and the Coastguard and is the first of its kind in the UK.

The station will also provide improved resources for fire fighters and coastguard personnel.

Chief Coastguard Peter Dymond said: "This is an important new facility for the 80 people who live on Rathlin Island as well as its many visitors."

He added: "Due to its geographical location off the north coast, it has its own special requirements in terms of emergency cover and this new facility will allow us to ensure the best possible rescue service delivered by the Coastguard and firefighters."

Rathlin Island is a designated Special Area of Conservation and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Rathlin Island map

Colin Lammey of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the way of life on Rathlin Island was unique.

"We wanted to ensure that both our 12 volunteer firefighters, and the volunteer coastguard rescue team, had the right resources to provide the best possible emergency cover for the entire island - protecting both its residents and its many visitors," he said.

The new rescue station replaces the stone built garage from which the crews previously operated.

It had become unsuitable for the requirements of the emergency services and modern-day Rathlin Island.

The new facility is much larger and provides an appliance room, equipment storage facilities, staff areas including washing facilities as well as a training area.

It was jointly funded by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.




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