ON THE afternoon of Aug 30, a fishing vessel reported to the Coastguard that she had lost power near Peterhead, about a mile south of Boddam Power Station, and needed assistance.
The Fraserburgh lifeboat, under Coxswain Vic Sutherland and with a crew of five, left the harbour and headed south.
The poor sea conditions became worse when they reached Rattray Head. The swell of 1.5m quickly changed to a swell of 3.5m and the lifeboat headed through horrendous seas and soon passed Buchanness Lighthouse and located the Northern Eagle.
Cautiously approaching her, Coxswain Sutherland had to manoeuvre the lifeboat close enough so that a line could be thrown aboard but she had to be far enough away that the two vessels did not collide in the heavy seas.
One minute, the lifeboat was 30ft above the Northern Eagle and the next minute, she was 30ft below the fishing vessel. The seas were tossing the two vessels up and down and back and forth.
Coxswain Sutherland chose the right moment for crewman John May to throw the heaving line so it landed first time on the deck of the fishing vessel where it was grasped by some of her crew.
The lifeboat towed the Northern Eagle to Peterhead where the tow was transferred to the pilot boats and, escorted by the lifeboat, the fishing vessel was towed to a temporary berth.
The lifeboat then sailed for home, arriving back at Fraserburgh at 1830. (RNLI/Fraserburgh)