A RESCUE mission that lasted seven hours was launched after a small fish-farm boat ran aground on Orkney.

The crews of three boats, a lifeboat and a coastal rescue team worked through the night to tow the Robina 3 to safety at Kirkwall Harbour in Orkney.

A lifeboat crew on a training exercise nearby were called to the aid of the boat at 6.50pm on Thursday at Carness, a short distance from the harbour.

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Rescuers took a pump to the skipper of the boat, the only crew member of Robina 3.

Two work boats, Carol Anne and Moy, stood by in support while a boat large enough to tow Robina 3 to safety arrived.

The tug Orcadia had to wait until 12.30am for water levels to rise high enough to pull Robina 3 to Kirkwall Harbour, where she arrived at 2.10am.

A spokeswoman for Shetland Coastguard said: "It was a good thing that there was a lifeboat out training at the time."