A large-scale search and rescue operation took place in the inner Moray Firth yesterday as Coastguard and RNLI teams, alongside a local wildlife tour boat, responded to a vessel taking on water.
A mayday call was broadcast and received by the Coastguard at 10.31am as the vessel in distress was located south-east of Avoch in the Black Isle.
A Coastguard spokesman said: “At 10.31am we received a mayday distress call from a vessel in the middle of the Moray Firth which had reported it was taking on water and required assistance.
“Kessock lifeboat was launched with a pump, as was Coastguard search and rescue helicopter Rescue 951 from Inverness who dropped a pump down to the vessel.
“These pumps were used to keep the flow of water at bay and managed to counteract the flow of water as the vessel was taken into Inverness Marina.
“The coast rescue team from Inverness met the vessel at the marina where they assisted in hoisting the vessel out of the water.
“Invergordon lifeboat proceeded to the vessels location as a precaution should a tow be required if the vessel was to break down, however, this assistance was not required.”
The incident concluded just before midday yesterday with the Coastguard spokesman confirming no injuries had been reported from the incident.
During the incident, the vessel Dolphin Spirit, a local company who offer wildlife cruises of the Moray Firth, assisted in standing by the stricken vessel should assistance in transporting those on board safely to shore be required.
Yvette Hogan, director at Dolphin Spirit, said: “The Dolphin Spirit was on its 10 o’clock sailing when we were asked by the Coastguard if we could assist in the incident. My crew leapt into action, as did the 15 passengers on board who were also involved.
“The crew were outstanding as always and often we are involved in training drills so it was nice to be ready for real-life action. Stuart Hercher our skipper and Sue MacDonald-Harding our guide were fabulous.
“We were glad we were able to help everybody to safety and bring it to a safe conclusion.”