Search and Rescue helicopters from the RAF and Royal Navy rescued 23 people from a stricken ferry which ran aground off the coast of Blackpool last night, 31 January 2008.

The roll-on roll-off ferry, called Riverdance, was one of the victims of the high winds that battered Britain last night, the sea conditions were described by the local Royal National Lifeboat Institution as "horrendous".

First on the scene at around 2045 hrs was a Sea King helicopter crew from the RAF’s 22 Squadron Search and Rescue Unit rescued eight of the crew of the ferry. Later The Sea King crew from Search and Rescue 819 Royal Naval Air Squadron, helped rescue the remaining crew of the vessel.

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