For broadcaster Anton Savage, the arrival of a barge carrying a disused Boeing 767 into Enniscrone, Co Sligo was not all ‘plane’ sailing.

The Today FM presenter narrowly avoided plunging into the ocean as he was spreadeagled in a leap between two vessels.

A finger-tip grasp of a bow rail on the receiving vessel in a two-metre swell prevented him toppling into the ocean.

The 39-year-old, who was wearing a life-vest, had been broadcasting from a tug close to a barge carrying the disused Boeing 767.

“The tug I was coming off and the other boat were in huge swells. So there was a very narrow window to get from one to the other. I may have chosen too narrow a window, so I ended up diving on to the bow rail of the boat. It wasn’t my most dignified moment but I am here.

“I have a long history of making very stupid decisions. But so long as ankles aren’t broken, legs are unscratched, we’re good,” he joked.

Mr Savage was in Enniscrone for his re-scheduled programme on Saturday to cover the arrival of the Boeing 767 that travelled by barge from Shannon Airport..

The swell during the morning tide was too threatening for the jet to be beached so that was delayed until the night tide.

The 70-ton plane is now in a 15-acre site in Enniscrone that is to be converted into a glamping village run by funeral undertaker David McGowan.

Mr McGowan, who runs funeral homes in Ballina, Co. Mayo and Sligo, bought the discarded aircraft from Shannon Airport for €20,000.

He rented a giant barge in Southampton for the journey from Shannon with the plane aboard.

When the plane was beached on Saturday night and lifted off by crane a wooden road was built so it could be transferred by giant trucks across the strand to the main road into the village.

The jumbo, called the Big Yoke during eight months of planning its move, has a 140-ft wingspan. The wings were removed to allow it make the journey.

It was previously-owned by Russia’s second-largest airline company Transaero before its financial collapse last year.

Mr McGowan bought it as part of a plan to turn a disused 15 acres he owns near his home in Enniscrone into the Quirky Nights Glamping Village.

The village, which he describes as the first of its kind in the world, will feature accommodation in different types of transport facilities, including a train, boats, buses and London black taxis. The Boeing 767 will be converted into eight apartments.


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