Visiting racing yachts moved to shelter after being buffeted by winds at Victoria Pier

Around 30 yachts berthed at Lerwick Harbour had to be moved to safety this morning  after wind caused damage to some of the vessels.

Coastguard teams were called to assist after the yachts, competing in the Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Shetland-Bergen contest, were buffeted by a strengthening northerly.

A 999 call was made by one of the skippers shortly after 6am, claiming his vessel had sustained damage.

The small lifeboat, or Y-boat attached to the back of the lifeboat, was sent out to help move the vessels to a more sheltered spot in the small-boat harbour. The damage, suffered by a number of the Class 40 yachts, was later described as superficial.

Around 90 yachts are expected to arrive in Lerwick this weekend, as competitors in the two races berth at the harbour. Presentations will be made to the stage winners of both competitions at a reception at 5.30pm today in the Flavour of Shetland entertainment marquee on Victoria Pier.

• Meanwhile, Shetland Coastguard was summoned late last night after a report that an object, possibly a body, had been seen floating in the water off St Ninian’s Isle.

A peroson had phoned the police on 999 at 11.30pm to report the sighting. Coastguards from Sumburgh and a coastal rescue team from Noness, Sandwick, took up the search, and the Sumburgh-based helicopter was scrambled.

Around an hour later the object was found and identified as a dead sheep.


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