A complex rescue operation was underway last night after a trawler lost all power and was left drifting in the Moray Firth.
A search and rescue helicopter was scrambled from Lossiemouth to support lifeboat crews from Wick and Fraserburgh in the operation to assist the Acorn.
It is understood the Acorn, a 28-yard fishing vessel, suffered a complete loss of power on New Year’s Eve and was left adrift and unable to communicate.
All the crew have now been recovered safe and well.
Early yesterday morning, the six-strong crew of the Inverness-registered boat set off the Acorn’s emergency beacon which was picked up by Shetland Coastguard.
An all-weather Trent class lifeboat was launched from Wick shortly before 9am and then at 11.37am a seven-man RNLI crew from Fraserburgh joined the operation.
Yesterday a spokeswoman from Aberdeen Coastguard said: “They set of their emergency beacon this morning and that was picked up by Shetland Coastguard who have been coordinating the operation.
“We put a helicopter out of Lossiemouth and Wick lifeboat and they found the vessel and confirmed that the vessel indeed had no power.
“But the crew were safe and well. We took them under tow and, due to the size of the vessel, the intention was to tow them to Fraserburgh.”
Fraserburgh lifeboat the Willie and May Gall, which carried a spare power pack to allow them to charge the battery of the stricken vessel and restart the engine, met with the Acorn at 2pm.
Last night the coastguard spokesman added: “The Acorn now has its engines going and is making for Fraserburgh with a lifeboat escort.”
The trawler was due to arrive in Fraserburgh at 7.30pm.
In October 2005, a rescue helicopter raced to the Acorn’s aid when it began taking on water in the North Sea.
The engine room flooded and the six crew members were unable to use the onboard pump to clear the water.
A support vessel from the nearby Scott platform came to the Acorn’s aid and both the vessel and the crew were returned safely to Peterhead harbour the following morning.
In January last year, a lifeboat from Lerwick was called out after the Acorn’s propeller became entangled in a net when she was fishing south-east of Fair Isle.