A CRAB fishing boat with eight crew on board which had its bridge flooded after being hit by a wave west of Shetland on Tuesday night arrived safely into Scalloway Harbour on Wednesday morning.
The 25-metre Edward Henry (DH100) managed to make its way into the harbour on its own power at around 7.15am accompanied by Aith Lifeboat RNLI Charles Lidbury and the anchor handling vessel Nor Solan.
The alarm was raised around 60 miles west of Sumburgh, with the lifeboat and the Sumburgh-based coastguard helicopter heading to the scene.
However, with the heavy seas and waves in excess of 10 metres slowing down the lifeboat to a speed of just 10 knots, it took some time for the boat to arrive in the force eight to nine westerly winds.
The Sumburgh helicopter was replaced by another search and rescue helicopter from Stornoway at around 10.30pm before the Edward Henry managed to make its way to Shetland.
RNLI mechanic John Robertson said that, although the weather conditions were some of the worst he had encountered during his time as a volunteer crew member, he had felt confident the crew were well trained to deal with this type of situation.
When it arrived it found the Edward Henry with three broken windows in the wheelhouse and a broken electronic navigation system, but the crew of the vessel had managed to re-start the engines.
As it had no working navigation system, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to guide it back to land.
The crab boat’s skipper had suffered a minor injury, and all of the crew were seen by paramedics when they arrived in Scalloway.
It was 11am on Wednesday by the time the RNLI vessel was able to return to its station - more than 14 hours after it was called out.