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Marine / Lifeboat halts training exercise to tow yacht

An image taken on the job. Photo: RNLI

THE LERWICK lifeboat came to the help of a Norwegian yacht with engine problems last night while it was out on a training exercise.

The yacht, with five people on board, had left Lerwick earlier in the day and was heading towards Fair Isle when it ran into trouble off Sumburgh Head at around 8pm.

With light winds the yacht had no means of propulsion.

The Lerwick lifeboat was already out on exercise – its first since lockdown – but crews put that on hold to assist the yacht.

By 9pm the craft was under tow, with the lifeboat and yacht reaching Lerwick Harbour at around midnight.

Coxswain Darren Harcus said: “We were on our first training exercise since March, and going through routine checks and familiarisation when we received the call to assist this yacht.

“In unusually light winds, the vessel had lost all means of propulsion and was at the mercy of the currents off Sumburgh Head.

“The skipper was right to contact the coastguard when they did and our volunteer crew were more than willing to divert from our exercise, to ensure the safety of the yacht and those on board.”