Temperatures on the deck of a burning fishing boat hit 200C as firefighters battled to bring a fierce onboard blaze under control.
Crews from all over the north-east were sent to Peterhead harbour as flames and smoke engulfed the trawler Ardent II.
The spent more than 10 hours bringing the fire on the 131ft vessel under control.
It is understood no one was onboard the boat when the blaze broke out and no one was injured.
The Inverness-registered Ardent II was berthed at Peterhead’s Port Henry Basin at the time.
More than 30 firefighters were involved in the operation.
Last night, they were still on scene starting the process of pumping the water out of the hull of the boat which had earlier been used to douse the flames.
Crews were called from Peterhead, Maud, Ellon and Fraserburgh.
Fire service group manager Ally Birkett said the exterior of the 100-tonne trawler reached temperatures of 200C.
“This was a very serious fire with an excessive amount of heat,” he said.
“Firefighters did an outstanding job to bring the fire under control in these extremely difficult circumstances.
“The fire has now been extinguished and firefighters are damping down hot spots in the wheelhouse.
“We liaised and are working closely with the harbour authorities, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, the RNLI and HM Coastguard to bring this incident to a successful conclusion.”
A police spokesman said three crew members known to work on the vessel has all been accounted for.
Owner Hamish McPherson, who skippered the Ardent II before his son took over in 2000, could not be reached for comment.
Mr McPherson, who runs a bed and breakfast in Hopeman, in Moray, is understood to have owned the boat since it was built in 1986.
A spokesman for the Peterhead’s Fishermen’s Mission, which overlooks the harbour, said: “It was a large fire but as far as we are aware, everyone was ok.
“We couldn’t get close to see the extent of the damage.”
Local fisherman Jimmy Buchan, who starred in the BBC’s Trawlermen series, added that any fire on a vessel had the potential to be “catastrophic”.
He said: “A fire on a ship is one of the worst things that can happen with the speed that it can spread.
“Hopefully no one was on board in this case, because boats can be replaced – lives cannot.
“I’ve seen it myself first hand and you have to be quick to react.
“If there’s no one there to react, you’ve got a real problem. It ends up being you can only fight it from the boundary, when the fire already has a real foothold.”
Former lifeboat volunteer Alan Buchan, now a councillor for Peterhead, said: “Trying to put out a fire on a fishing vessel is very difficult.
“When it happens away from the port, it can take lives.
“This is a person’s livelihood, as well as those who might be employed on it. It’s very sad.”
A spokesman for the town’s lifeboat said that volunteers were stood down at 10am after helping to cool the deck of the vessel.
The cause of the fire, which was reported around 5.4am yesterday, was last night unknown.
A joint investigation by the fire service, police the Marine Accident Investigation Branch will begin this morning.