The Kyle lifeboat crew were alerted to the 28-foot scallop dive boat, which broke free from its mooring during Storm Barra, at 2:14pm on Tuesday December 7 – after the UK coastguard received reports of an unmanned vessel being beached in Kyleakin.
The lifeboat launched less than 10 minutes later, at 2.23pm, but by this time, the dive boat had broken free of the shore and drifted under the Skye bridge, where it became wedged between the pier at the Mowi fish food plant and a cargo vessel which was tied up alongside.
The RNLI crew had difficulties putting in place a tow, due to strong winds and rough sea conditions at the time. However, they were successful and managed to return the dive boat back to the pier by 3:10pm.
Speaking of the incident, a Kyle spokesperson said: ‘When we arrived on scene the dive boat was stuck between a cargo vessel and the pier at the Mowi plant making the extraction difficult. We had to tow the vessel out backwards which made it tricky to control in the stormy conditions, however once we got into open water we could adjust the lines and tow it forwards as we headed back to Kyle.”
This incident marks the second time in just over two weeks that a Kyle lifeboat has been called out to a vessel adrift under the Skye Bridge.