At 5.00 am this morning (Monday), Stornoway Coastguard received a distress call from fishing vessel Amethyst which had hit the rocks at the Point of Sleat; the most southerly point on the Isle of Skye.
The three crew aboard the vessel were abandoning into a liferaft as vessels local to the scene responded to their call.
The fish farm vessel Ronja Pioneer along with fishing vessels Ocean Trust, Santa Maria and Silver Dawn went to the scene as Mallaig RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Stornoway were launched. Mallaig Coastguard Rescue Team and the Mallaig Fishermans Mission were also alerted.
The three crewmen managed to get into their liferaft safely, and were then recovered by the Ronja Pioneer. They were later transferred into the care of the Mallaig lifeboat crew who confirmed that they did not require any medical attention after their ordeal. The Coastguard helicopter from Stornoway returned to base shortly after take off.
The 15 metre prawn trawler Amethyst was successfully recovered from the rocks and taken to into Mallaig harbour for assessment and repair.
Watch Manager, Carol Collins said: “This incident highlights how the correct lifesaving apparatus does save lives. The three crew of the Amethyst were able to safely transfer into their liferaft which enabled the Ronja Pioneer to recover them.
“We are grateful to the local vessels that responded immediately to the Amethyst’s call for assistance, and for keeping us informed throughout. We would also like to acknowledge the work of the Mallaig Fisherman’s Mission, who set up a reception for the three crew men.”