SNP - Tom Wills

Yell creel boat sparks emergency

The new Yell creel boat Halcyon pictured two weeks ago with local anglers on board. Pic. Billy Fox

A SHETLAND fishing boat with five people on board sparked an emergency early on Friday morning when they called the coastguard to say it was in danger of sinking.

The Lerwick coastguard station received the call from 10 metre fishing boat Halcyon at 8.36am.

A spokesman said: “He said he had a severe ingress of water, his engine had stopped and he needed assistance right away.”

The boat was very close inshore off Britain’s most northerly coastline, between the Muckle Flugga lighthouse and Hermaness, on the isle of Unst.

The boat was recently purchased by Yell ferrymen Ian Nicholson and Richard Gray who work creels from Cullivoe pier. On Friday Mr Nicholson was taking some friends out on a  sport fishing trip. 

Shetland coastguard immediately scrambled the Sumburgh-based rescue helicopter, the Lerwick lifeboat was launched and an emergency broadcast was sent out to alert vessels in the vicinity.

The first to respond was the Faroese passenger ferry Norröna which was passing Muckle Flugga on its regular passage between Faroe and Denmark and the skipper stood by while the emergency services went into action.

The Scottish fisheries protection vessel Jura also headed towards the scene.

However shortly after the initial call, the Halcyon called to say the pumps on board had started working and the situation was under control.

The coastguard helicopter stayed in the area while the local charter vessel Oberon came to tow the Halcyon into Cullivoe pier. The Jura stayed alongside as an escort until the lifeboat took over in Bluemull Sound and they arrived at Cullivoe around noon.

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