Fraserburgh’s Lifeboat crew were called out early on Saturday morning to come to the aid of three men near Sandhaven who had suffered engine problems while at sea.
A resident, named locally as William Runcie, had spotted the small boat in difficulty off the shore of Sandhaven and had alerted the emergency services whereupon the Lifeboat was called out.
Assessing the situation, coxswain Victor Sutherland deployed two XP boats with two crew members.
John May and Shane Richardson were able to navigate the pitch black and bring the three men aboard from the rocks at Sandhaven, their boat having run aground.
A number of RNLI volunteers had, meanwhile, assembled on the shore to be ready to assist along with the coastguard and police, but were not required.
The lifeboat returned with the three men, who did not require medical assistance, in Fraserburgh at 0:50am.
Coxswain Sutherland commented: “Mr Runcie’s immediate response meant that we were able to get to the scene in time to make a difference.”
He also urged other members of the public not to hesitate if they see someone in trouble at and to immediately contact the emergency services.
“The earlier we’re called out gives us more time to save lives in situations where sometimes seconds count,” he added.