Lifeboat is launched to help another lifeboat

Lerwick Lifeboat crew launched this morning to go to the aid of a decommissioned offshore lifeboat with engine problems south of Shetland.

The eight-metre vessel with two crew on board left Fair Isle earlier today, heading for Bressay marina, but ran into difficulties near Sumburgh Head with engine problems, thought to be related to the engine’s cooling system.

The lifeboat launched at around 10.30am and made good speed to reach the vessel 40 minutes later, about three nautical miles east of Dunrossness.

A decision was made to take the vessel under tow and the lifeboat and vessel made steady progress northwards to Lerwick at around six knots, reaching the quayside by the old fishmarket at around 1.30pm.

The former offshore lifeboat has been refitted into an expedition vessel and recently travelled up from Edinburgh Harbour to Wick, before heading northwards to Shetland, with a plan to eventually cross the North Sea to Norway.

After bringing the vessel safely to the quayside, the Lerwick lifeboat was then refuelled and made ready for service again.

Sea conditions were moderate with increasing south-westerly winds, Force 4-5, and an air temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius.

Coxswain Stephen Manson said: “This was an unusual task for us, to take a former lifeboat under tow.

“However, with increasing south-westerly winds, and the possibility of eventually losing propulsion, the vessel may have been taken further out to sea.

“We’re pleased that this vessel and crew are now safely in Lerwick Harbour for repairs, before taking on any more voyages.”


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