Marine News, by John Kinsman, station manager at Coastwatch St Monans, east Fife.
Three pals on a fishing trip panicked and drowned as their boat was flooded by a passing scallop dredger, a court heart. Elvis Cojocariu said they leapt in to the sea after waves gushed on board following a near miss with Scots trawlerman David Marr’s vessel. Romanian nationals Mircea Ilie, aged 40, Irinel Popovici, 41, and Traiam Dumitrache, 50, died off the coast of Shoreham, in Sussex. Mr Cojocariu was found alive by fishermen the next day, and he told the court on Monday 2nd December that the friends on the fishing boat MFPVF James II, spotted the Vertrouwen dredger getting far too close.
He said, “All of a sudden the water entered the boat. Mircea tried to empty the boat with a bucket but another wave filled the boat. Then the boat went down and we just jumped into the water, we were panicking”.
Jurors heard Mr Dumtrache leapt in with an empty petrol barrel. The other two fishermen clung to buoys but Mr Ilie had nothing. Mr Marr, 53, of Peterhead denies failing to maintain a proper lookout in August 2017. The trial will resume later this month.
Search for Kayaker
A massive search was launched on 6th December for a missing kayaker in the Firth of Forth. Two lifeboats and two coastguard rescue teams were called out to search. Coastwatch St Monans team were alerted to keep watch from their cliff top lookout station.
After a search lasting several hours it was found that the kayaker had swam ashore in total darkness after losing his kayak in rough seas. All teams returned to their stations after several hours at sea. Coastwatch St Monans team were operations manager John Kinsman, deputy managers Anne Kinsman and John McLean, Bob McDonald, Cameron McDonald and Karen
Cod quota nearly halved
The number of cod that can be legally caught by UK fishermen could be halved next year. It was agreed in the early hours of Wednesday 18th in Brussels during fishing talks. Full story in the February edition of the Voice for Arran.
Coastwatch on Duty
December was a busy month for Coastwatch St Monans team. They were alerted to a seal that was believed to be in trouble on a local beach. Team members raced to the location and found the seal was safe and well. The team were alerted to warn walkers on the coastal paths to a small landslide, plus a few other minor incidents.
The station covers 12 miles of coastline and the base is in a historic windmill on the braes at St Monans. The team are on call 24/7 and are alerted to incidents by HM Coastguards by pager. The team come from all walks of life including a vicar, two house wives, a carer, a farmer, news reporter, IT engineer and student.
Featured image shows Coastwatch St Monans deputy manager Anne Kinsman in the control room during a recent call out.