Lifeboat crew battles 45mph winds and 20ft swell to rescue fishing vessel

A lifeboat crew battled 45mph winds and 20ft swell to rescue a fishing vessel and the three people on board.

Lochinver RNLI lifeboat and the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter responded to a mayday put out by the fishing boat after it started taking on water 15 miles west of Kinlochbervie in the north-west Highlands on Sunday.

The helicopter transferred a lifeboat pump on to the vessel then returned to base to pick up a second pump.

Describing the rescue, a post on the page said: “The weather was very poor in The Minch with south west winds at 45 miles per hour and a six meter swell, conditions were a little challenging."

The lifeboat crew posted pictures of the rescue operation on the RNLI Lochinver Facebook page showing the difficult situation they were working in.

“The Stornoway search and rescue helicopter was also in attendance.

“The lifeboat arrived at the fishing vessel an hour after launching and it was decided the safest option would be for the helicopter to transfer the lifeboat’s salvage pump to the fishing vessel.

“Once the crew got the pump up and running they were successfully able to remove the water from the bilges and continued on their way to Stornoway with the lifeboat standing by in attendance astern in case of need.”

The fishing vessel got into difficulty on Sunday Credit: MCA/PA

The lifeboat escorted the fishing vessel back to Stornoway.

The Stornoway RNLI lifeboat then came out to take over, allowing the Lochinver team to return to base.

A Coastguard spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard co-ordinated a search and rescue response after a fishing vessel with three people on board reported it was taking on water in the Minch, in north-west Scotland, on Sunday.

“A mayday came in just after 1.20pm from the vessel, which was 15 miles west of Kinlochbervie. Lochinver.

“RNLI lifeboat attended and the HM Coastguard helicopter from Stornoway transferred a lifeboat pump to the vessel, and then returned back to base to pick-up a second pump.

“A cargo vessel and the Coastguard’s Emergency Towing Vessel also attended the scene and assisted.

“The vessel was taken to Stornoway harbour, where Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team monitored the situation and pump.”