Glasgow & West Scotland

Tobermory lifeboat in 11-hour rescue drama

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Media captionDuring the rescue operation, which started off the Isle of Coll, the tow line snapped twice

A Scots lifeboat crew has towed a stricken vessel to safety after an 11-hour rescue in heavy seas.

Tobermory RNLI's volunteer crew launched at 08:30 on Sunday to help a fishing vessel with gearbox failure seven miles west of the Isle of Coll.

During the rescue operation, the tow snapped twice in rough seas with winds gusting at up to 60mph.

The lifeboat crew re-established the tow and guided the fishing vessel back to Tobermory.

The RNLI vessel initially towed the fishing vessel to the Isle of Tiree where the skipper had arranged for the tow to be passed to another boat.

Broken bridle

The lifeboat stood by and followed both vessels as they proceeded towards the harbour.

The tow rope snapped, however, in heavy seas and the fishing boat went aground on rocks.

Lifeboat crew managed to manoeuvre their vessel in the shallow water and pass another tow to the fishing vessel.

During the journey back to Tobermory, the fishing boat's bridle, to which the tow rope was attached, broke.

Once again, lifeboat crew passed another tow to the fishing boat.

Coxswain Andrew McHaffie said: "This was a difficult and long service and we had to establish several tows with the fishing boat in very rough conditions.

"We're all extremely pleased that there was a good result at the end of a very long day."

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