Swimmer Lauren Boyle's dad stuck in Siberia

IAN ANDERSON AND SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 00:15 23/07/2014
Lauren Boyle
Reuters
STRANDED: Champion Kiwi swimmer Lauren Boyle's father, Allan, is stuck in Siberia after an emergency landing.

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Lauren Boyle has yet to hear whether her father will arrive in Glasgow in time to see her opening race.

Allan Boyle was on Virgin Atlantic flight VS251 from Shanghai to London which was forced to make an emergency landing in Irkutsk, Russia, after the Airbus A346 developed "a technical issue".

He and his partner, Tracey Berkahn, are now among 283 people stuck in Siberia - waiting on an alternative flight to be arranged to Heathrow Airport before heading to watch his daughter compete in the women's 200 metres freestyle heats and final on Thursday.

Boyle said the first she heard of her dad's woes was when notified by Games room-mate Sophie Pascoe.

"She told me about this story on Stuff and I was quite surprised," she said.

"I have no idea, I haven't heard from him."

If he doesn't make it in time, there will be further chances to watch his daughter chase gold in Glasgow, with Boyle a great chance to win gold in the 400m and 800m freestyle early next week.

British diver and Olympic bronze medallist, Tom Daley, was also on the flight and Daley's partner, Academy Award-winning writer, Dustin Black, posted video of the plane dumping aviation fuel mid-flight before making the emergency landing.

Daley is scheduled to compete in the Commonwealth Games from July 30.

Virgin Atlantic's UK media office was closed when Fairfax Media called, but has issued a public apology for the situation.

"The aircraft is currently on the ground and our customers are being looked after by our cabin crew," a spokesperson said.

"Our priority now is to ensure our customers resume their journey as soon as possible. The airline would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

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