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Skipper criticised by RNLI crew

By Andrew Dixon

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RNLI help cruiser on Loch Ness
RNLI help cruiser on Loch Ness

THE skipper of a hired cruiser which ran aground in Loch Ness has been criticised by the RNLI.

After lifeboat crew towed the 45ft long vessel away from land close to the pier at Urquhart Castle, the skipper ignored advice and attempted to berth at the pier again.

He failed and only narrowly averted being blown aground once more.

The boat was then escorted to Urquhart Harbour, where it was met by the Inverness Coastguard team, officers from Northern Constabulary and the owner of the hire company which reclaimed the vessel.

"The skipper refused safety advice and his crew were severely lacking in skill and judgement," said Matt McWhir, a volunteer at RNLI Loch Ness.

Two of the cruiser’s crew were stranded at the castle pier and had to be collected by the lifeboat.

RNLI helmsman Martin Douglas said the incident at noon yesterday could have become very serious.

"Berthing is a tricky business and the weather and choice of berth should be considered along with the experience of the crew," he said.

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