A Swedish couple who have been sailing around the world since 2005 were towed into Stornoway harbour on Sunday morning (August 12th) by the RNLI lifeboat Tom Sanderson.

Annika Koch and Björn Christensson had been in touch with Stornoway coastguard since last Wednesday (August 8th), when they entered the large stretch of the North Atlantic overseen from Stornoway MCA Coastguard Operations Centre.

Their vessel, the yacht Moon, had a broken gear box and the couple were attempting to make progress during the most recent leg of a mammoth trip, sailing between Greenland and Stornoway.

Stornoway Coastguard had set up a regular communications schedule to check on the couple’s welfare, and the lifeboat was launched just before 7am on Sunday to bring the yacht the last few miles into Stornoway harbour.

Stornoway Coastguard Volunteers also stood by at the harbour in case any assistance was needed with getting the boat alongside.

She was tied up safely by 8.03am and all teams stood down. Both sailors are safe and well, and looking forward to a rest in Stornoway while their vessel is repaired.

The Moon is the second vessel for Annika and Björn, who left their home near Gothenburg in 2005 after many years sailing on extended trips.

Since 2012 they have sailed the Moon to Antartica, New Zealand, Patagonia, Japan, North America and Canada among many other countries.

Moon’s log record says: “The wind came stronger and stronger and we had to tack in counter current and 10m/s the last 12 hours. Moon did well and we could sail into Stornoway Harbour.

"After a 10-minute tow we are now tied up in the Stornoway Marina. Now time for some sleep, showers, laundry and not to forget exchange of gear box.”

Picture shows Annika Koch and Björn Christensson aboard the yacht Moon earlier in their round-the-world voyage