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Emergency services / Lerwick lifeboat assists small fishing vessel off Sumburgh Head

Lerwick lifeboat at the Pool of Virkie on Saturday. Photo: RNLI

LERWICK lifeboat came to the aid of a seven-metre inshore vessel with two crew on board when she was taking in water near Sumburgh Head late on Saturday afternoon.

The lifeboat launched at 5.15pm and was at the scene an hour later.

The Maggie Patterson (LK506) was taking on water but still had engine power. The skipper was able to make her way unaided to the Pool of Virkie. The lifeboat crew passed a salvage pump aboard to help reduce the volume of water below deck.

Once the water level had fallen, it became clear that a hose clip from a pump had failed, leading to the rising water level.

The vessel then run aground at low tide on a sand near Ness Boating Club but was expected to refloat on the next high tide.

Coastguard rescue teams and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also attended.

The lifeboat stood down at 7.30pm and returned to Lerwick.

Coxswain Stephen Manson said: “Despite the calm sea conditions, this could have been a different outcome with the vessel taking on water in open seas near Sumburgh Head.

“We’re glad that the vessel was able to make her way to the relative safety of the Pool of Virkie and that the two crew on board are unharmed.

“We were able to assist with a salvage pump and the skipper did the right thing by calling the coastguard as soon as they realised they needed assistance.”

Sea conditions were good, with a southerly breeze and an air temperature of around 13 degrees Celsius.


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