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Nine saved from a sinking fishing vessel close to Shetland

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Eight people were evacuated by aircraft in a spectacular rescue operation after their fishing vessel sank close to Shetland. At about 5:00 on Sunday, the boat started to take on water, putting the crew in danger. They quickly boarded two emergency rafts as the ship quickly sank below them.

A Norwegian rescue helicopter and an HM Coastguard rescue helicopter from Shetland quickly sped to the situation, which was 36 nautical miles (66 km) east of Bressay, in response to the distress signal. The crew was successfully flown to safety at Sumburgh airfield by the helicopters despite difficult conditions, including northerly winds of Force 6-7 and an air temperature of about five degrees Celsius.

The crew’s rapid thinking paid off when they used their “DSC” maritime distress signal to pinpoint their precise location to rescuers. The rescue effort was significantly strengthened by the coordinated operations of many nearby vessels.

The RNLI Lerwick Lifeboat was also launched and arrived on the scene quickly to retrieve the life rafts and warning beacons. Cox of the Lerwick Lifeboat, Stephen Manson, noted the difficult circumstances the crew had to work under while expressing relief at the successful rescue. He praised the fishing boat for its readiness and the efficiency of their distress beacon in enabling their prompt rescue.

The tragedy shows how crucial it is to be ready and act quickly in maritime emergencies to protect everyone’s safety and wellbeing while at sea.

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