Glasgow & West Scotland

Rescued yachtsman accused of stealing boat

RNLI Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Lifeboats attended the scene, but the man was eventually helped on board a passing diving and pipe-laying vessel

A Russian man rescued from a yacht off the west coast of Scotland has appeared in court accused of stealing the vessel.

Evgeny Dorofeev 35, was airlifted by helicopter after the 40ft craft hit rocks near Skerryvore lighthouse on Tuesday morning.

Mr Dorofeev was detained after Norwegian authorities issued an international warrant for his arrest.

The Russian national was remanded in custody while inquiries continue.

Fiscal depute Tom Crosbie told the court Norwegian authorities had made a formal request for his return to their country.

They claimed the 35-year-old had an agreement with the company that owned the yacht to have it for a period on condition that he did not go outwith Norwegian waters.

Mr Crosbie said that the accused appeared to have strayed out of the agreed area and is alleged to have stolen the vessel which is valued at about £200,000.

Solicitor Elaine Clancy said Dorofeev did not consent to extradition and did not accept what the Norwegians said about his being out of their area.

Image copyright Archie Nicholson/Technip Marine Operations Service
Image caption The Russian sailor pulls up next to the passing vessel

A coastguard helicopter had been scrambled in the early hours of Tuesday morning after Mr Dorofeev made a distress call.

The Islay RNLI lifeboat had initially attended the scene but the crew were unable to attach a tow rope to the yacht.

After 10 hours, the Barra lifeboat was called out to take over.

A passing diving and pipe-laying vessel also stopped close by to help shelter the yacht from the wind, and the man eventually managed to climb on board using a ladder.

He was then airlifted off by coastguard helicopter before being detained by police.

David Maclellan, 45, coxswain at the Islay RNLI lifeboat, said: "I don't think he'd had a very good time of it. The conditions at the scene were a steady 35 knots going up to 57. It was wild enough. The south end of Tiree and Skerryvore is not the best place to be.

"He was Russian, so the coastguard had to get a translator."

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