A RESCUE operation was launched after a fishing trawler with seven people on board ran aground on rocks.

Two RNLI lifeboats and a Coastguard helicopter went to the scene in the Kylerhea Narrows off Skye after the alarm was raised shortly before 6pm on Tuesday.

Kyle RNLI lifeboat, which launched in a snowstorm, was the first to arrive and, as the tide came in to the narrows, there were concerns the trawler may capsize as it was being pivoted around and forced further aground.

However, as the tide continued to rise, the vessel came off the rocks.

The trawler then headed to Mallaig to be inspected for damage under escort by Mallaig RNLI lifeboat, which had arrived at the scene at around 6.30pm.

Jonathon MacKinnon, RNLI Helm for the Kyle lifeboat, said: “This was a rapidly evolving situation which became extremely serious when the tide began to force the vessel over.

“There was the potential for it to go wrong quite quickly, so it was a relief to see the vessel float free 20 minutes later.”

The seven crew on the 72ft (22m) fishing boat were not injured.