Marine News

Sent in by John Kinsman, station manager at Coastwatch St Monans, east Fife. Feature image shows European Lobster (see Foot and Mouth story below).

Men rescued from sinking vessel

Two men were rescued from a sinking fishing boat which ran aground just off the Fife coast in the early hours of Sunday morning November 15th. The alarm was raised at around 6.15am when the boat suffered a mechanical problem and hit rocks in rough conditions not far from Pittenweem Harbour. Coastguard operations room in Aberdeen paged Anstruther Lifeboat volunteers and both the stations lifeboats. The all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched to attend.

The stricken fishing boat’s two crew were both returned to shore without injuries. The boat which started taking on water eventually sunk after being afflicted by a fouled propeller which caused a rope or netting to get tangle around it effecting propulsion.
Coastguards also called out Leven and St Andrews Coastguard teams to provide onshore help and Coastwatch St Monans team were out to check the shoreline for any oil pollution.

A spokesman for RNLI said, “The boat suddenly lost power and that’s what put them on the rocks. The boat was high and dry because of high tide and there was nothing we could do to save it. By the time the tide was starting to come in the boat had taken on so much water. The last time we saw it she was about to go under.”

Coastwatch St Monans team on the scene said, “It was a very sad sight,” but added, “it could have been much worse. One good outcome was at least the kids got their fathers home.”

Image shows the stricken fishing boat on the rocks


Foot and Mouth Fears

Scottish fishermen have called for a total ban on the import of live American lobsters because the risk of a ‘foot and mouth style’ plague which could wipe out the entire Scottish lobster population.

The Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation said fisheries watchdog Marine Scotland had been told about emerging problems about 15 years ago but had only now issued an alert asking fishermen to report finds of the alien species.

Marine experts say the result of the invaders establishing themselves in the wild would be catastrophic for the native lobster because “Homarus Americanus” carries a lethal bacterial blood disease called Gaffkaemia. The disease is water borne and can kill European lobsters, “Homarus Gammarus”, within days of infection.

Coastwatch team busy

Coastwatch St Monans station was busy during the month of November with keeping watch on the east neuk of Fife coastline from their lookout and on foot patrols. Despite the Covid-19 situation the St Monans team, like all Coastwatch stations, have continued their daily watch keeping and rescue call outs to keep seafarers and the public safe.

Coastwatch St Monans station was granted key worker status by HM Coastguards, allowing them to travel to their station and to rescues. During November the station attended incidents including checking coastline for oil pollution, a missing yacht and missing person.

John Kinsman, of Coastwatch St Monans, on lookout for oil pollution last month

Coastwatch on Manx radio

On Sunday 22nd November Coastwatch St Monans featured on the Isle of Man radio station Manx radio. The presenter spoke about the vital work carried out by Coastwatch St Monans station and all the coastwatch stations around our coast, keeping seafarers and the public who use our cliffs, coastal paths, beaches, harbours safe. The presenter said these non paid volunteers who are on call 24/7 to help in any emergency are a credit to their community.