Raft rescues three trapped by floods at distillery

Strathmill – river burst its banks

Fire and Rescue teams had to deploy boats to rescue three distillery workers who became trapped by rising flood water late on Tuesday.

Crews from Elgin and Keith were called to the Strathmill Distillery after 10pm on Tuesday evening after the flash floods that struck throughout Moray caused the River Isla to burst its banks.

As a result three distillery employees were left trapped at the site – leaving firefighters to deploy a water raft which they used evacuate the trio from the distillery’s still house.

The rescue call went out at 10.18pm after the manager and two employees found themselves stranded, with site manager Alistair Abbot saying: “We have had floods before in the area over the years so we do have plans in place to try to mitigate against these.

“Unfortunately, this was quicker than normal – but the guys were in high spirits and they were safe in the canteen with a cup of tea.”

All three staff were back on site on Wednesday to clear up from the floodwater and ensure production could resume. Mr Abbot added: “It is really thanks to the emergency services who were quick to respond and really helped us out.”

The adverse conditions on Tuesday led to a busy day for fire fighters throughout Moray and Aberdeenshire who worked closely with police, council staff and the coastguard.

Senior fire officer David Rout said: “The large number of 999 calls to operations control meant that our personnel played a vital role in ensuring the appropriate resources were mobilised.”

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