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Saturday, 25 December, 1999, 06:58 GMT
Baby among six airlifted from ship

Northumberland's coastline during calmer weather


A five-month-old baby was among six people airlifted from a ship off the Scottish coast in rough storm force conditions.

The master of the Dutch coaster Confidence raised the alarm 70 miles off the Northumberland coast at 0215 on Saturday, after contacting Aberdeen Coastguard for a weather report. He wsa told they would have to battle storm force 11 conditions of very heavy and rough seas.

The 2,000-tonne vessel, with a cargo of fertiliser, was en route to Berwick-on-Tweed.

When he heard the conditions were unlikely to improve much before 1800 GMT, the master sent out a mayday.

A spokesman for Tyne Tees Coastguard said: "He issued the mayday signal as he feared for the safety of his wife, baby and crew.

Safety priority

"We scrambled a rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer to the scene, which has now airlifted the five people plus baby."

Stuart McGill, Deputy District Controller of the coastguard, added: "We have been in touch with the Dutch owners who are presently seeking tugs in order to bring the crew-less vessel under tow but this may take some time given the prevailing weather conditions.

"As ever, but particularly on Christmas morning, our first priority is the safety of the baby, its mother and father and the crew."

He said it was understood that all had been winched into the helicopter and are on theirway back to the mainland. No injuries were reported
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See also:
25 Dec 99 |  UK
Coastline suffers storm damage
24 Dec 99 |  Wales
No damage to beached tanker
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