RNLI Stromness Lifeboat encounters rough seas aiding disabled fishing vessel
The crew were paged at 6.20pm last night to go to the aid of a 27 metre fishing vessel which had lost engine power 12 miles west of Noup Head on Westray.
A course close the the Black Craig was followed in rough seas to get to the vessel as quickly as possible.
The conditions were too rough for the lifeboat to tow the much larger fishing boat so at 7.20pm the Coastguard asked the Emergency Towing Vessel (The Coastguard Tug) Heracles to join the operation.
The Orkney Registered fishing vessel Keila had left Scrabster and was also en route to the scene to help with the towing operation.
The Stromness lifeboat arrived at the disabled fishing vessel at 8.15pm after a rough passage at reduced speed. The Coastguard asked the lifeboat to stand-by the fishing vessel until the larger towing vessels arrived.
At 11.00pm the Heracles arrived on the scene and was joined shortly afterwards by the Keila. The Keila attached a wire tow to the disabled vessel and began the tow. The Coastguard then asked the lifeboat to return to Stromness. Shortly afterwards the tow broke and the Heracles took over the towing operation. They travelled through Westray Firth, east of Shapinsay and into Kirkwall Bay.
The Stromness lifeboat returned at reduced speed to make sure it didn't arrive at the entrance to Hoy Sound in dangerous conditions with full ebb ride against westerly wind and swell. The lifeboat passed close to the north shore of Graemsay and entered Stromness Harbour at 03.45 am.
It was fuelled and ready for service shortly afterwards.
RNLI Media Contacts: David Bowdler, Stromness volunteer lifeboat press officer, 07871 583011
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.