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Published:  10 July, 2012

Six crew were rescued from a Banff registered fishing vessel east of Orkney this afternoon after their 22 metre fishing vessel caught fire.

Shetland Coastguard received a transmission from a distress radio beacon at 3.50 pm, with the information that it had been sent from the fishing vessel ‘Denarius’ and giving a position of 60 miles east of Orkney.  Unable to make communication with the vessel, Shetland Coastguard scrambled the Shetland Coastguard rescue helicopter, along with issuing a mayday relay broadcast to all vessels in the area.   After making contact with the owner of the vessel, they believed that there were six people on board.  The owner also reported that his son was the skipper of the vessel and had contacted him some minutes before to report that there was a fire on board.  Several other vessels including the Maersk Responder responded to the mayday to offer assistance in the search and a Bond helicopter was also launched.

At 16.45 the Coastguard helicopter arrived on scene and winched all six crew members into the helicopter.  By this stage they had taken to the life raft.  They were then taken from an emergency landing site to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick by ambulance.  The crew are described as uninjured, but walking wounded.

Shetland Coastguard Watch Manager David Robinson said:

"The ability of the crew to activate their EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) in this incident was absolutely crucial as we were immediately passed information on their location, vessel name and shore contact which, in the absence of the ability to communicate directly with the vessel, meant that we were able to quickly send help to their position.  We would like to thank the crew of the several vessels and helicopter that helped in locating the Denarius and providing on scene assistance.”

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