THREE of four fishermen rescued after their boat grounded in a Scottish sea loch have been arrested and charged on suspicion of being drunk.
Coastguards received a mayday call from the Northern Irish-registered Argent at 2.36am on Friday.
The crew reported the vessel had started taking on water half-a-mile off Campbeltown Loch, near the south of the Kintyre Peninsula, which faces the Firth of Clyde.
The Campbeltown RNLI lifeboat was launched and the Campbeltown Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to the scene.
A Royal Navy rescue helicopter from Prestwick was also scrambled.
Gary Young, watch manager at Belfast Coastguard, said: “Campbeltown lifeboat was quick to arrive on scene and safely transferred all four fishermen from their stricken vessel, with no reported injuries.”
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: “Three men, aged 38, 46 and 53, were arrested in connection with alleged offences under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 after being taken off a boat in Campletown.”
The offence relates to alleged ability to carry out duties while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Later, a spokeswoman for Belfast Coastguard confirmed: “The crew were breathalysed, arrested and charged by police in Campbeltown.”
Campbeltown Loch, which separates Davaar Island from the mainland at high tide, is immortalised in a folk song of the same name, which was a hit for Andy Stewart in the 1960s.
Its lyrics include: “Campbeltown Loch, I wish ye were whisky, Ah wid drink ye dry.”
The basis of the ballad, by writer Alan Cameron, was that Campbeltown was originally a centre of whisky distilling, but that the price of whisky in the town was too high.
Campbeltown Loch is sung to a march written for the bagpipes.
Oh! Campbeltown Loch, Ah wish ye were whisky!
Campbeltown Loch, Och Aye! Campbeltown Loch, I wish ye were whisky! Ah wid drink ye dry. Now Campbeltown Loch is a beautiful place, But the price of the whisky is grim. How nice it would be if the whisky was free And the Loch was filled up to the brim. I’d buy a yacht with the money I’ve got And I’d anchor it out in the bay. If I wanted a nip I’d go in for a dip I’d be swimmin’ by night and by day. We’d have a gathering of the clans They’d come from near and far I can see them grin as they’re wading in And shouting “Slàinte mhòr!”. But what if the boat should overturn And drowned in the Loch was I? You’d hear me shout, you’d hear me call out “What a wonderful way to die !” But what’s this I see, ochone for me It’s a vision to make your blood freeze. It’s the police afloat in a dirty big boat And they’re shouting: “Time, gentlemen, please!”