A fisherman last night revealed he thought he was going to “lose everything” after his trawler lost power and started drifting towards rocks off the Moray shore.
Mark Johnston bought the Swan Dancer earlier this week, and was sailing it back to Burghead when it suddenly cut out yesterday.
The trawler’s engine room began to fill with smoke, sparking the alarms and an emergency shutdown.
As the tide began dragging the 32ft trawler close to the jagged Covesea Skerries rocks, the 23-year-old realised he needed help – and raised the alarm with the coastguard.
The Buckie lifeboat crew were called out about 11am, and managed to tow Mr Johnston to safety.
Last night the experienced fisherman said: “I was quite worried. I thought I was going to lose everything. I’ve only had it for two days.
“I was just north of Lossiemouth when the engine stopped. The engine room filled up with smoke so I went down the stairs to see what was happening.
“I came back up the stars and could see I was drifting so I decided to call for help. I was east of the Skerries when I was picked up.”
The Hartlepool-registered prawn trawler had recently been refurbished before being sold earlier this month.
Mr Johnston left Fraserburgh at about 4am after taking ownership of the boat in Port Seton in East Lothian on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old skipper had been manning the boat himself as he took it up to Burghead, where it will be based.
A member of the lifeboat crew went aboard the Swan Dancer to help guide it safely into the harbour under tow, while a smaller craft kept a close eye.
A coastguard spokesman said: “We received a call out to a fishing vessel that had lost power off the coast of Lossiemouth just after 11am. The lifeboat got the vessel under tow and it was tied up at Burghead just after 1pm.”
As the Swan Dancer approached the harbour, onlookers began gathering on the quayside to see the stricken vessel being towed in. Once his newly-purchased vessel was safely moored, the skipper was quizzed by coastguard officers about what happened.
A concerned friend of Mr Johnston was there to meet him when he arrived.
Mr Johnston, who lives in Scrabster, has been fishing for eight years but it is the first time he has owned a vessel that big.
He said he was not sure what had caused his boat to lose engine power suddenly and would now be carrying out checks.
The rescue is the latest in a busy spell for the lifeboat crew in Buckie.
Last week, the team was called out after a yacht started drifting towards the Moray coast after a fire onboard. They also went to the aid of a jet skier that got caught up in ropes, and an overturned kayak on the River Spey.