Boats capsize from high hurricane winds off Belfast

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Nearly 100 people were rescued off the coast of Belfast as at least eight boats capsized in Hurricane Bertha’s remnant winds.

Ten people were injured in Strangford Lough off the coast of Belfast on Monday as scores of people, including children as young as 13, were tossed into the sea after their boats were blown over, causing a nearby hospital to declare a major incident, according to the (U.K.) Telegraph.

Coast guard rescuers managed to pluck all 97 sailors to safety, although one man had to be treated for a head injury and about 10 others were treated for hypothermia. Varying news accounts said that as few as eight and as many as 20 boats overturned.

The sailors were competing in the 2014 EXE Sails GP14 World Championships and had completed the first race when organizers canceled the second race because of worsening winds. Although the boats were on their way back to shore, a 30-mph gust blew many of them onto their side.

As they were trying to right themselves, a second gust blew them over again, throwing dozens of sailors into the cold water. A spokesman for the race said everyone was “safe and well.”

A spokesman for the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald said 97 people had been in the water and 67 had been rescued. Six people were on their way to the hospital with minor injuries.

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