Thursday, 21 February 2013


Three fishermen from the Isle of Lewis were rescued from a liferaft by the Coastguard rescue helicopter based in Stornoway after their ten-metre fishing vessel ‘Achieve’ sank.

At just after 3pm today Stornoway Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre heard a spoken Mayday call asking for urgent assistance. Because no location was given Stornoway Coastguard calculated the likely location of the fishing vessel by triangulating the strength of the radio signal through their cluster of radio aerials and checked with local ports and harbours for a vessel of the same name. Falmouth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre reported that a distress alert had been received from a RNLI ‘Man Overboard Beacon’ and so the Leverburgh RNLI Lifeboat was asked to go to this position along with the Coastguard rescue helicopter based at Stornoway. When the helicopter arrived on scene they saw a red flare launched by the liferaft.

All three crew members were winched from the liferaft in to the helicopter and taken to hospital for medical attention. The liferaft was recovered by the lifeboat who also checked the scene for debris and pollution.

Ed Thompson Stornoway Coastguard Watch Manager said:
”It would appear that the fishermen’s vessel sank very quickly, and although they were unable to give us their position during their Mayday call for help they had flares in the liferaft and so were able to quickly attract the attention of the helicopter when it arrived on scene.”