A helicopter crew from Shetland braved the volcanic ash cloud to rescue a yachtsman stranded 25 miles off the coast of Orkney.

The Black Sheep was

struggling in 50mph winds and high seas early Tuesday morning when she got into difficulty. When the

autopilot broke down, the yachtsman became exhausted and raised the alarm. It’s thought he was en

route to Faroe at the time, the BBC reports.

After being found thanks to a personal locator, the helicopter was able to track the vessel until the Kirkwall

lifeboat team arrived.

The Black Sheep was towed

back to Westray by the lifeboat. The helicopter was taken out of service so

ash could be cleared from its airframe and engine.

Yesterday aircraft were urged not to fly until further notice by the

Civil Aviation Authority, after the Grimsvotn volcano erupted in Vatnajokull

National Park in Iceland.

Airlines cancelled a number of flights in and out of Scotland and Ireland, but today BA head Willie Walsh revealed that test flights over Scotland and north England have since shown no sign of threat and they operated a full flight schedule to Scotland.