Three rescued from flooded Moray distillery

Three workers were rescued from a distillery in Moray after it flooded. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Three workers were rescued from a distillery in Moray after it flooded. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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THREE people had to be rescued from a distillery after they ended up trapped in the building by rising flood water.

The two men and woman were stranded inside Strathmill Distillery at Keith, in Moray, on Tuesday night.

They soon realised there was no way for them to get out and called in the help of firefighters.

Water rescue specialists were sent to the scene and pulled the trapped distillery workers to safety on to a boat.

The drama unfolded at the Diageo-owned building at about 10:18pm on Tuesday.

Hours of stormy winds and torrential rain had battered the region since the beginning of the week.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “They got trapped within the building due to water rising so we needed to get a water rescue team who got access to them by boat.

“They were unhurt. They didn’t need hospital treatment. They just couldn’t get out of the building due to the high water outside.

“Our staff used water rescue equipment to move them out of the building on to the hydro boat.”

The distillery workers were back on dry land at about midnight, almost two hours after they got trapped.

A Diageo spokesman said: “The River Isla, which runs past Strathmill Distillery burst its banks yesterday evening flooding the distillery and resulting in three of our staff being stranded in the upper floor of the building.

“The emergency services were called and they responded rapidly to help evacuate the people concerned. We would like to thank the emergency services for their assistance.

“The flood water has now receded and the distillery is being cleaned and the impact of the water assessed.”

Busy fire crews were called out to about 20 flood related incidents in the North-east region of Scotland on Tuesday.

Huntly firefighters were called out at 11.50pm to help two elderly people trapped in their vehicle at Deveron Way.

Their car had ended up stuck in about 3ft of water on a road next to Tesco supermarket in the Moray town.

Rising water levels also caused chaos in Aberdeen with several roads closed in the region.

And nearly 40 young children had to be evacuated from their nursery after severe flooding hit.

Fire crews were called in as staff helped get babies and toddlers to safety from the Great Western Pre-School building.

Water had gushed down a nearby hill and had reached the lower window level.

Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout, said it was an “exceptionally busy period” for operational crews in the area as well as control room teams.

He said: “We conducted approximately six rescues over the past 48 hours with no injuries to the public and have been working closely with Aberdeenshire and Moray council staff, police, coastguard and emergency planning teams based in the area.

“The large number of 999 calls to Operations Control meant our personnel played a vital role in ensuring the appropriate resources were mobilised and could get to where they were needed. Most incidents were resolved quickly and in some cases advice was given over the phone.

“Measures were taken to ensure we always had sufficient resources to respond wherever crews were needed. We remain fully prepared to respond and protect communities during this period of difficult weather and increased operational activity.”

Flood warnings remained in place for much of the Moray and coastal areas yesterday.

Motorists and home owners were advised to keep up-to-date with advice from SEPA.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency floodline can be contacted on 0845 988 1188.