Two people had to be airlifted from a secluded cove near to Gress after becoming cut off by the tide, losing access to their boat, and being stranded overnight.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre said the man and woman had apparently left Brevig pier on Friday (25 September), with the intention of reaching the shore at Sialabhaig Mòr in a small rowing boat.

The pair successfully gained the shore and were winkle-picking when they were cut off by the tide. They took shelter in a small bothy in the cove overnight, but had no communications and were unable to call for help.

At 9.13am yesterday  (Saturday 26 September) a passing vessel noticed the pair and alerted HM Coastguard using their on-board phone. The initial report was of persons in the water and a swamped vessel.

Stornoway RNLI lifeboat launched at 9.15am, and Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) were tasked to head to the location by road, taking the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while Coastguard rescue helicopter R948 also went to the site.

A member of Stornoway CRT reported: “The team made their way as close to the location as possible and it was obvious that we wouldn’t be able to use the ATV due to the amount of fences and lack of gates, so we made our way to the incident on foot, a trek of around 3/4 of a mile through waist-high heather in places.”

The helicopter crew winched both casualties from their location to the beach, where a check revealed no signs of injury, but it was decided to take the pair on to Stornoway airport, and to the care of a team from Scottish Ambulance.

Meanwhile the RNLI lifeboat stood by as Stornoway CRT cleared personal belongings from the beach and pulled their small boat up past the high waterline.

All teams were stood down by 10.37am with all safe and well.

The picture shows the location of the rescue, with R948 waiting to uplift the casualties en-route to meet a Scottish Ambulance crew (Stornoway CRT).