The Fraserburgh lifeboat team battled “tremendous” waves to reach a small fishing boat in trouble.
The small boat reported engine trouble at about noon on Saturday, with Fraserburgh RNLI scrambled to assist.
In a dramatic video, the RNLI crew can be seen battling the stormy sea, with waves crashing over the sides as it headed it towards the stricken vessel.
The crew then towed the boat back into the harbour.
In a post on their Facebook page, the Fraserburgh RNLI crew said: “Towing a boat at sea is not like towing a trailer or a caravan on a flat and level road.
“You tow a boat with a long rope. Imagine towing a trailer or a caravan with a long rope. And instead of a flat road you’ve got the sea where there’s waves and wind and currents and tides.
“Close to the shore there are rocks and coming into the harbour there’s a lighthouse and piers. Both boats are pitching and rolling, too close and there’s a danger of collision, too far apart the tow rope may snap and cause an injury.”
Back to safety
The skipper onboard the fishing vessel described the efforts of the lifeboat team as “fantastic”.
He said: “It was very impressive seeing how quickly they did things to make us safe.”
Fraserburgh ALB "Willie and May Gall" returning this afternoon after afternoon exercise at Aberdour Bay.
Posted by RNLI Fraserburgh Lifeboat on Thursday, 18 November 2021
Duty coxswain Dave Sutherland, mechanic Chay Cumming, and RNLI volunteers Jason Flett, Grant Morrison, Stuart Ross, Declan Sutherland, and Doug McGuigan were onboard the lifeboat.
It was Mr McGuigan’s first callout with the lifeboat, and one of his fellow volunteers commended him for his efforts.
He said: “Dave’s seamanship and boat handling skills were of the highest order.
“To manoeuvre the lifeboat close enough, but safe enough, to get a line across and then to get everyone home safely through all these breakers was just brilliant.
“He made it look easy and this gave us a lot of confidence.”