THE CREW of a Shetland-based yacht was airlifted to safety by a Norwegian coastguard helicopter in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The Indulgence with three men on board suffered a broken mast while 50 miles west of Bergen.
The three men, including Lerwick businessman Jeffrey Ma, were all recovering in a Bergen hotel on Tuesday.
Mr Ma declined to be interviewed about what happened on board the Indulgence but added that everybody was fine.
A weak Mayday call was first picked up at around 1.50am Norwegian time by Rogaland Radio, which relayed the message to the coastguard in Stavanger.
Enquiries with coastguard stations in Lerwick and Aberdeen as well as the Oseberg and Ekofisk oil installations initially drew a blank, however Shetland coastguard officers were able to provide a voyage report for the vessel.
A search and rescue helicopter from the Oseberg platform and a Sea King helicopter from Floro were scrambled just before 2.30am.
By 3am emergency services had found the Indulgence, allowing the coastguard to send their rescue vessel Alesund to the area 50 miles off the Norwegian coast.
The three men were airlifted by the Oseberg helicopter and taken to Bergen. The Alesund has meanwhile taken the Indulgence under tow and is also heading for the city.
Picture of the rescue can be seen at http://www.ba.no/nyheter/article6178885.ece
On the other side of the North Sea, a female passenger with a medical condition was airlifted from the NorthLink passenger ferry Hrossey while she was 45 miles off Wick, in the early hours of Tuesday.
The search and rescue 102 helicopter arrived with the woman at Lerwick’s Clickimin emergency landing site at 2.30am, from where she was transferred to the Gilbert Bain Hospital.
Meanwhile Grampian Police are still investigating the death of a man who fell overboard from the NorthLink ferry Hjaltland on Sunday evening.
A spokeswoman said that it was unlikely the dead man would be named on Tuesday.
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