See video footage of the RNLI rescue

According to reports from the RNLI, lone sailor Gerry Beard (72) “clung to the rigging wire [of his yacht] for dear life”, which he managed to grab when swept overboard by heavy seas.

On Saturday 15 September, Stornoway RNLI lifeboat went to the aid of Mr Beard and yacht Meris, sailing around 50 miles off the Butt of Lewis in gale force conditions. The Coastguard helicopter also attended the scene, as well as fishing vessel Inverdale which stood by whilst events unfolded on the heavy seas.

Watch the rescue here:

A competent sailor, Mr Beard was on the last day of a round trip from his home in Sheildaig, Torridon, to Reykjavick, Iceland.

Caught up in the tail end of a tropical storm, weather conditions had not been easy. Previously Mr Beard had been forced to stay below for 16 hours in Force 10 conditions, and was also suffering from damaged ribs due to a fall six days earlier.