Marine News

Recent news from the east coast, sent in by John Kinsman, station manager at Coastwatch St. Monans, east Fife.

Fishing Boat Fall Probe

A fishing boat skipper who drowned in Aberdeenshire was not wearing a flotation device, a report has revealed.
A major search was launched outside MacDuff Harbour after creel fisherman Tony Masson, 67, fell from his boat Sea Mist BF918. His son saw the boat circling and raised the alarm.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch concluded that Mr Masson became entangled in rope. He was dragged overboard.

MacDuff lifeboat crew recovered the single handed boat’s skipper from the water and he was flown to hospital.
The MAIB said he was working alone on deck without a life jacket and there were no barriers in place to separate him from his fishing gear.

The investigation concluded that he drowned either because he was dragged underwater by the weight of the creels and was unable to free himself in time to reach the surface, or because he was unable to keep himself afloat after releasing his foot from his boot.The report concluded that a life jacket would have increased his chances of survival. One was found hanging in the wheelhouse.

There have been 33 recorded fatalities on UK creek boats and plotting vessels since the beginning of 2007, 20 of which were results of either falling or being dragged over board with fishing gear. Of these 20 fatalities, 9 were single handed fishing operations.

Coastwatch News

The historic windmill at St Monans was closed for two weeks in November after its sails were damaged by strong winds. The windmill is the home of Coastwatch St Monans which monitors the sea for any incidents. Aberdeen Coastguards were notified of the closure and during the two week closure the Coastwatch St Monans team did foot patrols on the 12 mile coastline they cover.

Picture shows the damaged Coastwatch station

The Coastwatch St Monans station reopened on Saturday 16th November.
Operations manager John Kinsman said, “As soon as the duty crew arrived for duty on the day, they closed the station for safety reasons. But it’s good to be back on duty protecting our seafarers”.

Coastwatch St Monans are all non paid volunteers. They are operations manager John Kinsman, deputy manager Anne Kinsman and John McLean, and volunteers, Karen Dodson, Robert McDonald, Cameron McDonald, Catherine Spence and Kevin McBain. Coastwatch St Monans works alongside HM Coastguards and have declared facility status as part of search and rescue.

Busy Harbours

The Fife harbours of St Monans, Anstruther, Elie and Crail have been very busy over the past few weeks with seafarers removing their pleasure craft from the water for winter storage. At St Monans a huge crane was used to lift yachts and small pleasure craft from the harbour onto the piers for winter storage. The same scene was repeated at Elie, Anstruther and Crail. The annual lifting of boats attracted the usual interest from locals and holiday makers.

Featured image shows St. Monans harbour.

Our marine correspondent John Kinsman would like to wish the editor, readers and everyone a Merry Christmas and a guid new year and thank you for reading my news reports in 2019. See you in 2020.

Thank you John, and a very happy Christmas and New Year to you, from all at the Voice for Arran!