Leverburgh and Stornoway RNLI lifeboats were both called out on one shout on Saturday (March 30th) as a fishing vessel got into trouble in the Minch.

The Castlebay-registered Minch Harvester, a 17 metre trawler, was working off Stockinish on the east side of Harris just before 8am, when she called Stornoway Coastguard for help after grounding.

The two lifeboats were both launched and a shore-based Coastguard Rescue Team from Scalpay was also called to assist. While Leverburgh’s volunteer crew were making their way to the scene, the crew of the casualty vessel reported that the boat had re-floated, but had a badly fouled propeller and was drifting to the south-west.

Leverburgh RNLI’s crew met the drifting vessel and attached a tow line, towing the vessel towards Scalpay, from where Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat took over the tow until they reached the safety of the factory pier at Scalpay.

The two lifeboat crews worked together to bring the casualty vessel alongside, with lines attached fore and aft. Scalpay Coastguard volunteers met both lifeboats and the fishing boat at the pier and the local restaurant North Harbour Bistro kindly made refreshments available for the crews

Leverburgh RNLI Lifeboat and crew were back at the station, refuelled and ready for service again by 1535 and Stornoway crew returned to their berth soon afterwards. Minch Harvester was back at work in the Minch today (Sunday).

All the crews wish to offer thanks for the hospitality received while in Scalpay.

The picture shows Stornoway and Leverburgh RNLI lifeboats bringing the casualty to the pier at Scalpay – by Kenny Macleod/RNLI.