Nessie crew praises quick-thinking Steve

THE vigilance and quick-thinking of a Northumberland firefighter taking a holiday in Scotland have been praised by crew members from RNLI Loch Ness.

Steve Vogel, a retained firefighter from Rothbury, was sailing from Inverness to Fort Augustus when he reported a problem with a group of canoeists he spotted on the lake.

As skipper of the yacht, Steve reported losing sight of a canoe, which was part of a group of three crossing Loch Ness.

His report was received by Coastguard officers in Aberdeen who coordinated events during the search and deployed RNLI Loch Ness to the scene, approximately one mile north of the lifeboat station near Drumnadrochit.

Loch Ness RNLI helmsman and sea safety officer Howie Whyte said: “Mr Vogel did exactly the right thing in alerting the emergency services to the scene that was causing him concern.”

Steve, a chartered building surveyor, said: “At first I thought I was getting a glimpse of Nessie.

“I saw three canoes at first but minutes later I could only see two and realised that if one had capsized they’d need help urgently.”

The canoeists were found ashore tired but uninjured.