Escape from sinking fishing boat

Western Isles based Lerwick registered fishing vessel Progress which sank on Tuesday afternoon.'Photo: Fishing News

Western Isles based Lerwick registered fishing vessel Progress which sank on Tuesday afternoon.'Photo: Fishing News

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TWO island fishermen escaped with their lives during rough seas when their fishing boat sank off the coast of South Uist on Tuesday afternoon (November 22).

The men, aged 23 and 31 years old, were fishing for crab out of Lochboisdale aboard the locally owned Lerwick registered boat ‘Progress’ LK378.

Situated south of the Island of Stuley on the east coast of South Uist, trouble began when a rope became entangled in the vessel’s propeller. In strong winds and high waves, the boat’s freeboard was reduced and it quickly began taking on water becoming swamped and starting to sink.

The two crew sent out a distress signal and, wearing lifejackets, abandoned the sinking vessel which rapidly disappeared beneath the waves.

In the rough seas the pair drifted apart and after around 20 minutes were picked up by vessels in the vicinity – one by the FV ‘Ocean Maid’ which had responded immediately to their distress call, the other by the FV ‘Anita’.

The Barra RNLI lifeboat was also launched.

The two men were transferred to Lochboisdale where they were checked over by paramedics before being discharged with no injuries, and were being supported by the Fishermen’s Mission in Stornoway and their agents in South Uist.

Port Missioner Superintendent Finlay MacLeod said: “The fishermen’s sea survival training had kicked in and they acted calmly and professionally in spite of their life threatening ordeal.”

Photo: Fishing News