ABERDEEN Coastguard today issued an urgent appeal for information about a Dutch boat, with three of a crew on board, which has failed to arrive in Norway after setting sail from the Aberdeenshire coast two weeks ago.
The Warnow, a former pilot boat which has now been fitted with a mast and sails, was excepted to arrive at a port in Norway on 22 April after crossing the North Sea from Stonehaven .
But there has been no contact with the three Dutch nationals on board since the vessel left Stonehaven harbour on 15 April.
A Coastguard spokesman said: “At 10.34 am today, MRCC Aberdeen received a telephone call from a Dutch national concerned for the crew of the Dutch vessel Warnow.
“The vessel had originally sailed from Holland with eight crew onboard and had called in at Middlesborough, and then continued to Stonehaven, where five crew disembarked. It then departed Stonehaven, with three crew onboard on the 15 April, bound for Norway.
“They were expected to arrive on 22 April, but no-one has heard from them since the 15th April.”
The spokesman added: “The vessel is a Dutch flagged 15 metre steel-hulled, former pilot boat with a black hull, white cabin, the vessel has been converted to have a mast and sails. There are three Dutch nationals onboard.”
The Warnow was at the centre of a dramatic rescue off the English coast last month when the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews from Whitby and Hartlepool had to battle eight metre seas and gale force winds of up to 50 mph to tow the stricken converted yacht to safety.
On 23 March the two lifeboats were launched to go the aid of the Warnow after the vessel was left with no steering and suffered engine problems outside Whitby harbour mouth.
The Whitby lifeboat George and Mary Webb managed to connect a tow rope to the vessel but had to set a course for Teesmouth as the entrance to Whitby harbour was deemed too dangerous to tow the vessel into.
The RNLI reported at the time: “The weather conditions meant the tow was slow and challenging for the lifeboat crew – at times the wind was gusting up to 50 mph. The RNLI Whitby lifeboat was joined by RNLI Hartlepool all-weather lifeboat which stood by as Whitby lifeboat began towing the yacht into the mouth of the Tees to find calmer water. Hartlepool lifeboat then took control of the casualty for the long tow up river to a designated berth, releasing the Whitby RNLI crew to make their way back home before the tide and weather conditions made entering Whitby harbour more difficult.”