Bay residents lend hand as yacht hits rocks

The yacht Helvelin aground at Kilchattan Bay on Tuesday.
The yacht Helvelin aground at Kilchattan Bay on Tuesday.

Villagers in Kilchattan Bay volunteered to help after a yacht broke its moorings and drifted on to rocks on Tuesday afternoon.

The yacht, Suilven, broke free in the strong winds which battered the island - and much of Scotland - for the best part of two days.

David Brown, Tilly Champ, Brian Middleton and Bill Wren were among those who went to the assistance of the yacht’s owner.

Despite the securing of several lines to the stricken vessel and valiant efforts to drag her round the few yards to the relative safety of the village’s stone quay, the boat was taking on too much water and could not be moved off the rocks, where she remained overnight.

By Wednesday morning the wind had abated sufficiently to allow the vessel to be moved off the rocks and put upright, and her mast was tied to the quay to keep her stable.

However, Mr Brown told us on Thursday that the yacht had been seriously damaged in the incident.

“I visited again yesterday evening,” he said, “and the yacht is effectively a write-off.

“The hull has an 8-10 foot hole exposing the internal structure and through which a great deal of the possessions and fittings had escaped to be strewn along the rocks adjacent to Kilchattan Bay quay.

“The keel also appeared to have broken away and was situated on the seabed a few yards astern of the craft.

“I understand that a low-loader and crane from the Port boatyard attended this morning, the vessel now having been removed.”