Marine News

By John Kinsman, station manager at Coastwatch St Monans, east Fife

Family in sea alert

A family of seven sparked an alert after trying a treacherous crossing in a 6 ft dingy.
The Dutch visitors including five kids did not have life jackets as they squeezed in the inflatable.
They were branded lucky to make it back to shore at John o’Groats, after sailing on the Pentland Firth. The holiday makers were helped by a coastguard rescue team.
A spokesman for the Longhope Lifeboat said, “Strong tides can make these waters perilous. They appeared to be without life jackets and there were serious concerns for their safety.”

Featured image shows the Longhope Lifeboat, based at Longhope, Orkney

Coastwatch month

The month of August has been fairly busy for the Coastwatch St Monans team. The team carried out their usual lookout duty daily. They had a few requests to keep a look out for missing persons and yachts.
Coastwatch St Monans also received a grant of £60 from the Scottish Civic Trust to purchase a new station flag pole.
Coastwatch St Monans also featured on the Irish radio station Radio KERRY 11 to 1; there a short discussion on their work. Later this month the team will be filmed by a German TV station.

Sea Grave

The wreckage of a ship that sunk and killed 200 servicemen is to be officially recognised as a war grave. The Ministry of Defence revealed on Friday August 23rd it will protect the site off the coast of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, where HMS Iolaire perished in 1919.
It comes after locals campaigned for the designation under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986. Western Isles MP Alistair Allan said “This commemorates the sacrifice of those who served their country and lost their lives so close to home.”
Troops returning from World War I died in the New Years day tragedy when in the early hours of 1st January, naval yacht HMS Iolaire, which was carrying sailors returning from the war, hit rocks as it approached Stornoway and sank. More than 200 people drowned, just yards from the shoreline and the safety of home.

HMS Iolaire