View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Local yacht in trouble

Local yacht Elinca, shown left, is the focus of a rescue operation off the far west coast of Lewis. She ran into difficulty after a gearbox failure in stormforce winds this morning, and requested Coastguard assistance just before 9 am. The Coastguard helicopter R101 flew the 45 miles to Loch Tealasbhaigh, where Elinca was anchored in to a lee-shore. Five non-essential crew were airlifted to safety, and arrived at Stornoway airport about a quarter of an hour ago (heard the helicopter go by overhead). The lifeboat was sent to the scene, but as this involves a 60 mile trip north around the Butt of Lewis in force 9 to 10 conditions, she is only expected to arrive there about now, 4 hours after the call was first made.More information on the MCA website.

Location of yacht

Saturday 3 October

The west northwesterly wind is reaching galeforce, and the ferry is cancelled all day. Most of the ferry services in the west of Scotland are disrupted or cancelled. Showers are passing by at frequent intervals, and the rainfall radar looks like a severe case of blue measles.

Still we should not complain: typhoon Parma is battering the Philippines, and you should brace yourself for some more catastrophic news from that country. 

If you are flying in and out of the UK to or from the USA, you should expect major delays. The air traffic control computer at Prestwick, near Glasgow, has broken down and all incoming flights are handled manually. That is causing delays of several hours.