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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Luckless sailor rescued three times
Coastguard rescue helicopter
The coastguard was called three times in as many days
A Scottish lifeboat has rescued the same lone sailor three times in as many days, it has emerged.

On Thursday, Stornoway lifeboat was launched to rescue the Shetland-registered cruiser Betsy.

The vessel was heading to St Kilda from Harris when the engine failed 20 miles from its destination.

On board, retired Campbell Williamson, 68, told coastguards he was safe, but had to call for help with no other boats in the vicinity.

"I have not spoken to him today but he must be feeling awful about calling the lifeboat out a third time

Janet Williamson

Mr Williamson, described as an experienced mariner, said he needed a tow into shore to carry out repairs. But his trials did not end there.

Four hours later, Stornoway coastguards received another call from Mr Williamson. This time his vessel had run aground on the island of Killergay, near Harris.

Lifeboat crewmen helped Mr Williamson refloat the Betsy before he set on his way again - for further repairs.

But on Friday evening after he set sail for Stornoway, his fortunes took a turn for the worse when his engine failed, again, four miles south of Scalpay.

A helicopter was scrambled to help Mr Williamson

Stornoway coastguards, who normally receive around 12 calls a year, came to Mr Williamson's rescue for the third time in as many days.

They said he seemed to have a recurring problem with the fuel tank.

Mr Williamson received support from his wife Janet, who maintained the catalogue of mishaps at sea were not her husband's fault.

She said: "As I understand it, a pipe sheared and Campbell lost a lot of fuel. It was not his fault.

"I have not spoken to him today but he must be feeling awful about calling the lifeboat out a third time. He is not a foolhardy person.

"He is a very, very experienced mariner and although I do not go with him on his long trips, it is not because he is not safe."

She said he had told her that he had now given up trying to reach St Kilda aboard the Betsy.

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16 Oct 00 | Scotland
Ferry passengers and crew rescued
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