A fisherman has died at sea after falling overboard in high winds and rough seas in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 30 January).

Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat is heading for home after being called to the location of the incident, 45 miles north of the Butt of Lewis, at 3am.

Stornoway Coastguard operations centre took a call at 2.50am from a German-registered fishing vessel, asking for urgent assistance after the man was lost overboard.

The RNLI lifeboat launched at 3.20am and rescue helicopter R948 was immediately dispatched to begin the search for the missing man. Nearby fishing vessels also made full speed to the area to help in the search, in very rough sea conditions and south-westerly winds up to gale force 8.

The Coastguard helicopter had reached the limit of its range and was unable to search further when rescue helicopter R151 was called from Inverness to take over. Their team located the man in the water and the casualty vessel despatched their own fast response vessel to take him back aboard.

The man was found to have died before recovery to his vessel, and was then lifted from the deck by R151 and taken to Inverness, where he was confirmed as deceased.

All teams were stood down at 8.40am this morning and Stornoway lifeboat is expected to reach her home berth around midday.

Stock images show Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat leaving Stornoway harbour and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter R948 during training.