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Sunday 25 February 2018

Boy (7) dies in fall from cliffs

Greg Harkin

Police have launched an investigation into how a seven-year-old boy died after plunging 300-ft to his death off sea cliffs.

A massive sea search was launched last night after reports the boy fell on the coast at Ballycastle, Co Antrim.

Logan Crawford was later airlifted to hospital after being found by rescue teams at the foot of the cliffs.

But today police said he had died in hospital.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking news for our whole community,” said the town’s SDLP councillor Donal Cunningham.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this little boy’s family and friends. It is just devastating.”

The boy, who was from the area, had been missing for an hour on Sunday evening. He had been playing with friends near a holiday park.

Coast Guard and RNLI volunteers began the search and when he was found he was in a critical condition.

He was airlifted to hospital by a Royal Navy helicopter which had earlier taken a diver off Donegal to hospital in Derry.

The boy died at at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Dawn Petrie of Belfast Coastguard said: "About twenty past seven last night we were alerted by both the police and the ambulance service that a child was missing in the vicinity of Silver Cliffs caravan park in Ballycastle and having possibly fallen off the cliff.

"We had a large multi-agency response initiated with specialist cliff-trained coastguard rescue teams from Ballycastle and Coleraine, lifeboats from Portrush and Red Bay a Royal Navy rescue helicopter, police and ambulance personnel.

"The area was thoroughly covered by our rescue teams and it was the Royal Navy rescue helicopter from the air who spotted the child at the bottom of the cliff.

"They initiated their winch procedures, put their winchman down at the scene, lifted the child into the helicopter and transported him to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Shortly before 7.15pm, it was reported that the boy fell from a cliff into the sea.

"Northern Ireland Coastguard recovered the boy from the sea and he was airlifted to a nearby hospital, but later died as a result of his injuries.

"Inquiries are continuing."

Yesterday a 45-year-old Polish national died after getting into difficulties while on a dive off Malin Head.

The experienced diver was with friends searching a wreck 4kms off the Co Donegal coast.

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