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Disorientated fisherman sparks emergency

The Aith Lifeboat was tasked but was later stood down. Photo: Shetland News

A FISHERMAN was airlifted to safety on Monday night after becoming disorientated off Burra.

Aith lifeboat was tasked to assist the only crewman on board the small boat Replenish while Shetland Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter was diverted from a training exercise.

A coastguard spokesman said they were alerted to the emergency by a relative of the man on board the vessel at just after 7pm.

When contacted by coastguard officers, the fisherman was drifting in and out of consciousness and was suffering from blackouts.

He also didn’t know his exact location, saying he believed he was off Hamnavoe.

He was eventually located south west of the uninhabited island of South Havra, a considerable distance from where he thought he was.

The helicopter then lowered its winchman on to the vessel before returning to base at Sumburgh for refuelling.

Meanwhile the Aith lifeboat had arrived at the scene and had taken both men on board.

The ill fisherman was then airlifted to the Clickimin landing site, in Lerwick, from where he was transferred to the Gilbert Bain Hospital.

The Replenish was towed to the Hamnavoe marina by the nearby fishing boat Budding Rose.