Nine rescued from yacht fire off Shetland

The RNLI attended the scene this morning off Shetland. Picture: RNLI
The RNLI attended the scene this morning off Shetland. Picture: RNLI
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NINE people have been rescued from a life raft after their yacht caught fire.

The Coastguard was alerted to the sailing boat in distress south west of Shetland on Thursday morning.

They broadcast a mayday call and the yacht crew were picked up by a support vessel in the area.

Aith RNLI Lifeboat and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Sumburgh attended the incident at around 10.30am.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman said: “All nine persons on board have been safely accounted for after the support vessel picked them up from a life raft after they abandoned their sailing vessel after it caught fire.

“The support vessel is currently making its way to Scalloway Harbour.”

The British Red Cross said it was on hand to help the crew.

Northern Isles service manager Nicola Stove said: “We have a team of staff and volunteers ready to meet and assist the nine people affected by this morning’s explosion.

“We will be on hand to make sure that survivors have the food, clothing and toiletries that they need, as well as providing transport and phones so they can let loved ones know they are safe.

“In addition to practical support we will also be providing any emotional support that people need after such a traumatic experience.”