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Down and Longford set to remove Rule 21

Trimble fails to halt ruling body meeting

Missing US sailor's boat found off Co Clare

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UUP holds meeting to quell dissidence

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Man due in court over Belfast stabbing


Missing US sailor's boat found off Co Clare

Last updated: 16-11-01, 20:09

A small boat found floating upturned and empty off the west coast of Ireland was tonight confirmed to be the craft of American Dr Nenad Belic, 62, who left Cape Cod, Massachusetts six months ago on an attempted lone transatlantic voyage.

It was spotted this afternoon by a fishing vessel less than seven miles from Kilkee, Co Clare.

The Coast Guard said a diving inspection of the overturned boat, the LUN, had established there was no body on board. Arrangements were under way to tow the craft into Kilkee.

The LUN has been officially posted missing since September 30 when an electronic positionindicating beacon was activated 215 nautical miles west of Castletownbere, Co Cork, in storm force 10 conditions.

An extensive search of the area by Irish and British coastguards, the Irish Air Corps and the RAF - as well as private aircraft engaged by Dr Belic's family - failed to find any trace of the small boat.

The Belic family chartered two spotter planes to scour hundreds of square miles off the south-west coast early last month, but it was subsequently called off.

Dr Belic, a retired cardiologist, set off on his trip on May 11.

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