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Nine rescued from burning yacht off Shetland

The Scalloway harbour pilot boat brings ashore the rescued crew of the yacht Miracle after being taken off the anchor handling vessel REM Gambler (in the background) which picked them up from a liferaft 50 miles south west of Shetland. Photo Chris Brown

DRAMATIC video footage from the Shetland coastguard helicopter shows the yacht Miracle on fire after nine people were rescued 50 miles south west of Shetland after issuing a Mayday call on Thursday morning.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said every person on board the yacht Miracle was safely picked up from a life raft by the anchor handling vessel Rem Gambler, which responded to a coastguard request for assistance. No one was injured.

A search and rescue helicopter from Sumburgh and the Aith lifeboat attended the scene at around 10.30am.

Miracle had left Lerwick harbour on Wednesday sailing for Torshavn, in Faroe, after arriving from Bergen on Monday evening.

The 14 metre yacht has been in Shetland before and hails from Poland.

The passengers abandoned the yacht in the North Sea after reports of a fire on board and were picked up shortly afterwards by REM Gambler who took them aboard and are currently heading for Scalloway harbour.

A coastguard spokeswoman said: “At approximately 9.20am this morning the UK coastguard received a mayday call and beacon alerts indicating a sailing vessel was in distress 50 miles south west of Shetland.

“A Mayday relay was broadcast by the coastguard requesting assistance for the vessel. A support vessel responded to the broadcast and made its way to the area and sent a recovery craft to the vessel to assess the situation.

“All persons on board have been safely accounted for after the support vessel picked them up from a life raft after they abandoned the sailing vessel.”