Highlands & Islands

Sinking yacht towed back to port in Wick

A yacht has been towed back into Wick after it started taking on water and sinking off the coast of Caithness.

The lone skipper of the 8m yacht Pickerel issued a mayday at about 1645 BST. He was unsure how to wear his lifejacket and had no liferaft.

A coastguard spokesman said a lifeboat and RAF helicopter had been scrambled to the scene.

A winchman and pump were lowered onto the vessel, which was towed to harbour by Wick lifeboat.

David Robertson, Aberdeen Coastguard watch manager, said: "Although he owned an emergency position indicating radio beacon - a locator beacon - he did not have it on board.

"If he had worn his lifejacket, taken a liferaft and ensured that he had his locator beacon onboard he would have ensured that even if his boat had sunk very quickly, he should still have been safer in the water and in a better position, certainly, to be rescued."

The yacht arrived back in Wick at about 2100 BST.

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