By John Kinsman, Coastwatch St Monans, Fife
Longhope Lifeboat Crew Remembered 50 Years On
Eight men died when the Longhope lifeboat capsized on March 17th 1969 after setting out late in the evening from Hoy in Orkney. To help the Liberian cargo vessel Irene, which was adrift in a fierce storm. The lifeboat, a 47 ft Watson-class lifeboat constructed of wood, set off in conditions of near zero visibility. A fierce gale coupled with a spring tide led to waves of 60 ft high. The lifeboat is believed to have been overturned by a freak wave, possibly 100 ft high.
The lifeboat was found at 13.49 the following day by the Thurso lifeboat. No one survived. When the lifeboat was recovered the bodies of all but one of the crew were inside the hull. The coxswain was still at the helm. The body of crewman James Swanson was never found. As a marine journalist this is something that never goes out of your mind.
Feature Image shows The TGB, the Longhope lifeboat which capsized on 17 March, 1969
Osprey Pair Seal Relationship
A pair of ospreys has been reunited at the Loch of Lowes Wildlife Reserve near Dunkeld in Perthshire for their fifth season together. The female osprey Lassie arrived at the reserve on Saturday 23rd March and her mate arrived eight days earlier.
Scottish Wildlife Trust staff said the male bird brought his partner within half an hour of her landing. The pair has successfully fledged 10 chicks from 12 eggs since they began breeding in Perthshire in 2015.
Lassie is also known by the designation of LF15 while the male bird is LM12.
Sara Rasmussen, the Trust’s Perthshire Ranger said, “It’s exciting to see our resident birds back together. Ospreys live completely independent lives outside breeding season but LM12 and LF15 have quickly re-established themselves as a pair.”
Coastwatch St Monans has been busy getting ready for the summer season. The team has two new recruits who are doing well. The team has been donated a new lifebuoy from Glasdons of Blackpool, which is a fantastic addition to the station rescue equipment. Also the path around the Coastwatch Station has been renewed with gravel. Recently the Irish Radio Station Radio Kerry spoke on air about the work of Coastwatch St Monans helping to keep people safe both at sea and on land.