COASTGUARD and lifeboat teams had to tow a cargo vessel to safety after it developed a steering fault in high seas.

The Barbados-registered Wilson Gdynia got into difficulty 20 miles west of Skerryvore Lighthouse, south-west of Tiree yesterday.

Stornoway Coastguard was alerted to the incident just before 10.30am and Barra RNLI lifeboat called out. A tug was organised to bring the boat ashore to safety.

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The eight crew remained on board the vessel, which was transporting wood chips, during the operation.

Coastguard watch manager Carol Collins said: "The weather on scene is a concern with gale force winds and high sea."