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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 March 2008, 17:39 GMT
Boats grounded after strong winds
The RNLB Sir Ronald Pechell
The RNLB Sir Ronald Pechell has been lifted from the shore
A lifeboat has been recovered after being swept onto rocks in strong winds which also saw a fishing boat driven ashore on the Isle of Lewis.

The Dunbar lifeboat Sir Ronald Pechell broke free from its moorings overnight.

The vessel has now been lifted from the shore at Torness, East Lothian, revealing significant damage.

Meanwhile, the Ullapool registered creeler Our Hazel had to be towed free after she broke her anchor chains and grounded on the shore near Stornoway.

A Stornoway Coastguard spokesman said the incident happened at about 2250 GMT on Friday.

All six crew remained on board the Our Hazel and the vessel returned safely to port in Stornoway after being towed free from the shore.

Our Hazel file picture/Davie Tait
The Our Hazel was towed free with its crew on board/Pic: Davie Tait

An RNLI spokesman said the Sir Ronald Pechell broke its mooring during a "ferocious storm" and was swept onto rocks, sustaining very serious damage.

No-one was on board at the time.

The spokesman added: "In the prevailing sea conditions it was judged too dangerous to attempt to board the lifeboat during the night."

The lifeboat was lifted from the shore on Saturday afternoon for an assessment of the damage to get under way.

The recovery operation involved RNLI volunteer crew, volunteer coastguards, staff from Torness Power Station, Lafarge Cement Works and Coastal Marine.

The boat will be transferred to a dockyard for assessment, while RNLI staff will also conduct an investigation into the cause of the mooring failure.

Interim search and rescue cover is being provided by local stations until a relief lifeboat arrives next week.

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