Fishing crew rescued as Storm Aiden sweeps in

fishing boatThe fishing boat was secured to a fish farm mooring while it awaited help.

By Democrat reporter

The crew of a fishing boat was rescued after breaking down as Storm Aiden battered the West of Scotland, it was revealed today.

The four people on board the 22ft (6.7m) vessel managed to secure it to a fish farm mooring in Loch Etive in Argyll while they waited for help.

The RNLI lifeboat from Oban towed the boat to safety as winds gusted at 60 mph.

Elsewhere a shipping alert was issued after 33 containers were lost overboard in the Pentland Firth.

Two of the empty 40ft (12m) containers have since washed ashore at South Hoy in Orkney and a coastguard aircraft has been helping to look for the others.

Storm Aiden led to flood warnings and travel disruption as it passed across the country.

At the height of the storm, severe gales were forecast in the north of Scotland. An emergency towing vessel was sent to help a large cargo ship that suffered engine failure north west of Shetland but was stood down after the crew made repairs.

In the Loch Etive rescue, the RNLI team initially towed the fishing boat back to Taynuilt but the pier there was mostly submerged and it would have been difficult to get the crew ashore.

RNLI rescue
Oban  – winds were gusting at 60mph during the operation. Pictures by Oban RNLI

Instead the boat was secured to a mooring in Airds Bay and the crew were taken to Dunstaffnage marina.

Ally Cerexhe, Oban lifeboats coxswain said “With the bad weather set to continue for the rest of the weekend, please take extra care when visiting the coast and think twice about heading out on the water in these conditions.

“Although the lochs may appear to provide some shelter, the strong winds and high tides still pose the same risk.”

The sun was shining on Tuesday morning, but the A83 Rest and Be Thankful remains closed after heavy rain but the Old Military Road local diversion route has now reopened – although it will close again overnight as precaution..

Eddie Ross of Bear Scotland said: “Safety has to come first and as ever we thank the local community and road users for their patience while we address the situation at the Rest.

“Argyll remains very much open for business and we ask road users to plan their journey in advance by checking Traffic Scotland for the real-time travel information.”

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