The runaway boat travelled up to 20 miles with no one onboard after the skipper got tangled in nets and was pulled into the water

A runaway boat had to be intercepted off the coast of Scotland on Thursday after the skipper fell overboard in the North Sea.

The creel fishing boat was on autopilot and headed straight for Aberdeen Bay when a marine services company managed to bring the vessel under control.

The skipper was pulled overboard after becoming tangled in nets and spent up to 45 minutes in the water before making his way to shore where he raised the alarm.

Meanwhile, the boat travelled up to 20 miles unhelmed before someone was able to intercept it.

Following the ordeal, the skipper was found to be suffering from hypothermia and was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Speaking to the Press and Journal, a spokesperson for Greenhowe Marine Services said: “We were in the shore of Aberdeen harbour and we heard about the incident on the VHS radio, and that the coastguard was in need of assistance.

“Our crew went out and managed to get on board the fishing boat and one of our crewmen took it back into Aberdeen harbour.

“The boat was between Ythan and Balmedie and was heading towards supply boats and would have caused a lot of damage had it not been stopped.”

Two RNLI lifeboats were tasked to intercept the runaway boat but once on scene found that the local crew transfer boat had resolved the situation.

Aberdeen lifeboat station said in a statement: “The skipper had managed to make his own way shore but there were concerns that the vessel, which was on autopilot was heading straight for Aberdeen Bay and the anchorage, where there were several vessels at anchor.

“The Aberdeen and Peterhead lifeboats were tasked with intercepting the run away vessel before it could cause any problems to shipping.

“Just before the Aberdeen lifeboat arrived on scene a local crew transfer boat had managed to put a crewman aboard the casualty vessel and get her under control.

“The crew’s best wishes go to the skipper who taken to hospital after making his way to shore.”