Couple's wedding saved by the sea

THE owner of a north coast hotel helped save a wedding reception last week – by filling buckets of sea water from the raging Atlantic Ocean to flush toilets.

Trevor Kane, proprietor of the Bayview in Portballintrae, paid

tribute to water official Tommy Doherty who delivered litres of

bottled water so that they could prepare the wedding meal for

Eoghan and Kathy Kearney (nee McIlroy) who were wed at Ballywillan Presbyterian Church, Portrush.

"It was touch-and-go," said Trevor.

"When you're running a 25-room hotel you use a lot of water

– showers, baths, toilets, the kitchen, heating. It has been something of a nightmare with no water for most of the day.

However, there was a bit of a trickle during the early evening,

so hopefully the tanks will fill up overnight."

Trevor made several trips down to the ocean to stock up with

sea water for the toilets and left the buckets in strategic positions.

Bottled water was used to prepare the meal.

"It was a close-run thing," he said. "I heard that large swathes

of the North Coast area were affected – certainly all of Portball-

intrae and nearby Bushmills."

Tommy Doherty, a Grade Two Operator, said that the Bayview

was just one of hundreds of shops, homes, hotels and coffee houses affected, with Coleraine particularly badly hit, with the area tanks emptying at an alarming rate.

"With the thaw coming and frozen pipes bursting at a rate of

knots, the water just drained away," he said. "We've been delivering water all over the place, especially to the disabled, and people have

been glad to see us. But the burst mains are being fixed and

things should be back to normal

soon."