New Year drama as Lossiemouth helicopter assists stricken trawler

Sea King was on New Year’s Day shout (Mark Mair)

A rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth started its final three months in service by assisting in a dramatic Moray Firth rescue on New Year’s Day.

The Sea King was scrambled after a battery failure on board the fishing vessel ‘Acorn’ sparked a rescue operation involving lifeboats from Fraserburgh and Wick.

After suffering a complete loss of power the vessel was left adrift and unable to communicate – but all the crew were returned safe and well to Fraserburgh on Thursday.

Skipper John Mckenzie said that his vessel lost all power and while they released four distress rockets on New Year’s Eve none of these were spotted. However, after activating their emergency beacon on Thursday morning the alarm was raised by Shetland Coastguard.

As the Lossiemouth helicopter stood by to assist the Wick lifeboat located the stricken vessel before the Fraserburgh boat arrived with the means to recharge the Acorn’s battery and restart her engine, allowing the boat to return to Fraserburgh.

Rescue services from Lossiemouth will cease at the end of March, replaced by civilian helicopters and crews operating from Inverness Airport.

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