A trawler which had to be rescued from the middle of the Minch in high seas last night was safely tied up in Stornoway harbour and is now heading for the Goat Island slipway to undergo repairs later today (Monday January 20th).

The FV Ranger was escorted into the harbour by Stornoway lifeboat late last night after a dramatic rescue which involved two lifeboats, the Emergency Towing Vessel Ievoli Black and the Coastguard helicopter R948 from Stornoway.

The Ranger’s three-man crew issued a Mayday appeal for help after finding they were taking on ‘a significant amount’ of water east of Tolsta Head soon after 1.20pm yesterday (Sunday).

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre co-ordinated a response during which two pumps were lowered onto the vessel in successive runs by the Coastguard helicopter. Lochinver RNLI lifeboat and Ievoli Black stood by, unable to attach a towline in heavy seas.

Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat later took over from Lochinver, and escorted the Ranger under her own power into the harbour, where she was met by members of Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Team.

The CRT carried out crew welfare checks and made sure the vessel was secured at the pier. Along with Scottish Fire & Rescue, the CRT then assisted with safety cover and the movement of pumps onto the vessel to stem the water ingress while she was alongside. All teams were stood down around 12.25am today (Monday).

Picture taken by RNLI Lochinver volunteer crew during yesterday's rescue of FV Ranger getting ready to go on the slip at Goat Island.