Stornoway Coastguard are tonight (Sunday January 19th) co-ordinating the rescue of a fishing vessel taking on water in heavy seas and strong winds.

The vessel, with three people aboard, called for help around 1.30pm today from their position about 12 miles off Tolsta Head in the Minch.

he casualty vessel is believed to be the UK-registered FV Ranger OB29 (pictured above).

The crew reported that their vessel was taking on a significant amount of water, sparking the emergency response.

Rescue helicopter R948 went to the scene and Lochinver RNLI lifeboat was also tasked and is still with the stricken vessel.

Water pumps were passed on to boat and have helped to get the water ingress under control, but it has not been possible to get a towline established in high swell and strong winds.

Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat was heading for the incident at about 6 pm on Sunday to relieve Lochinver Lifeboat.

Two pumps are now in place on board the FV Ranger and she is heading for Stornoway harbour under her own power, with Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat Tom Sanderson and the Coastguard tug Ievoli Black providing back-up support.

RNLI Lochinver Lifeboat has been released from duty and is heading for her home berth.

All crew aboard the casualty vessel are reportedly safe and well.

A further update from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is expected later.