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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Bird experts rescued from island
St Kilda
The seven people were airlifted to St Kilda
Seven people stranded on a remote island for two days without food and water have been airlifted to safety.

They had been ringing wild birds on Dun in the St Kilda archipeligo when they were hit by high winds which ripped their tents apart.

A Stornoway Coastguard helicopter flew them to its St Kilda base, 41 miles off the Western Isles, on Wednesday.

The weather has also caused problems for yachts competing in a round Britain and Ireland race off the Western Isles.

A distress call was put out at 2330 BST on Tuesday after the Night Challenge was damaged. It was towed to Castlebay in Barra by the local lifeboat.

'Unseasonably poor'

Minutes later, the Ruffian ran aground but was later able to re-float.

Twelve of the 36 taking part in the race sheltered overnight at Castlebay.

However, the weather continued to cause problems on Tuesday with the Vijaya having to be towed to Castlebay by Barra lifeboat. The Blue Demon was also damaged.

Stornoway Coastguard watch manager Duncan Mackay said: "It was very unusual for us to receive so many calls from one event at one time.

"The weather conditions for this time of year are unseasonably poor, and we are pleased that each casualty was safely returned to Castlebay or continue with the race."

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