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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 18:34 GMT
Weather hampers lifeboat salvage
Damage to boat
The boat has sustained severe damage
Bad weather is continuing to delay any fresh attempt to salvage the Portrush lifeboat stranded off Rathlin Island.

Experts believe the 2m vessel has been more seriously damaged than first thought. All six compartments in the hull have been waterlogged.

It has been on the rocks near Rathlin since Tuesday night after getting into difficulty while attempting to rescue three people whose boat was in danger.

The removal of the lifeboat will now be handled by an outside contractor.

It is planned to remove 4,000 litres of fuel from the vessel on Saturday to avoid any possibility of pollution at Rathlin.

The RNLI has launched an internal investigation into what happened on Tuesday.

Despite the efforts of a fishing vessel and the Larne lifeboat, the stranded vessel could not be moved after it first became stuck.

The three people, who the lifeboat had gone to assist, were rescued by the Rathlin Island Coastguard crew.

Lifeboat rescue called off again
31 Jan 08 |  Northern Ireland
2m lifeboat's rescue called off
30 Jan 08 |  Northern Ireland
Lifeboat stranded during rescue
30 Jan 08 |  Northern Ireland

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