Marine News

Sent in by John Kinsman, operations Coastwatch St Monans, east Fife.

Storm Babet

Coastwatch St Monans were one of the emergency services involved in helping during Storm Babet, Coastwatch St Monans team volunteers were on patrol during the three days of storms that hit the east coast of Scotland on 19th,20th, and 21st October.

The St Monans volunteers patrolled the flooded coastal path between Pittenweem, St Monans and Elie to make sure no one was trapped or overdue. The coastal path was very dangerous. The team worked in difficult conditions with winds gusting to gale force 9, heavy rain and floodwater.

The team also patrolled Pittenweem, St Monans and Elie harbours as huge waves crashed over the harbour walls. The team also checked cliff top caravan sites at St Monans and Shell bay where one or two caravans were damaged by high winds.

In all Coastwatch St Monans spent over 40 hours on call both in their lookout Station and on patrol making sure everyone was safe. They like all emergency services did fantastic job in appealing conditions. Thanks to the team operations manager John Kinsman, deputy manager Anne Kinsman, team members Bob McDonald, Karen Dobson, Ian Duncan Cameron MacDonald, John McLean, and Sue Johnstone.

Harbour busy

St Monans harbour in Fife was an hive of activity one Friday in October when a huge crane arrived early morning to prepare for lifting out boats for winter storage at the end of the summer sailing season.

Boat owners gathered at the East Nuek harbour at high tide just after 10 am as the huge crane made its way along the narrow middle pier watch a crowd of onlookers.

Shortly afterwards the boat owners began to place large straps around their craft in readiness for the crane to lift them from the water.

Then one by one more than a dozen yachts, small craft were gently hoisted high above the harbour by the huge crane and placed on the harbour middle pier for winter storage.

The operation took more than 5 hours to complete.

The boats will remain on the middle pier for the winter months to undergo maintenance and painting by their owners in readiness for 2024 sailing season.

Coastwatch St Monans

Coastwatch St Monans team had a busy October month. They were alerted to the following incidents, a missing walker on the coastal path between Anstruther and Elie. The team searched the path in Pittenweem in appalling weather conditions with high winds, heavy rain and flooded paths. After a search lasting over an hour the missing walker was located and led to safety by the team of 7 volunteers.

The team also attended incidents including an overdue swimmer, a broken down speed boat which was guided to safety and a rescue of a climber cut off by the tide on rocks.

The team who attended all incidents were operations manager John Kinsman, deputy manager Anne Kinsman, Bob McDonald, John McLean, Karen Dobson, Ian Duncan, Cameron MacDonald and Beth McLean. Well done all. Picture shows part of the flood coastal path during search for missing walker.


Kite surfer rescue

A kite surfer got into difficulty in high winds off the Arbroath coast. A rescue mission was launched after a 999 call from a member of the public. Both Arbroath lifeboats and the Dundee coastguard team went to the kite surfer’s aid.
The incident happened off the west links, when the kite surfer suffered an equipment fault but managed to get himself to shore.

A spokesman for HM coastguards said: “We got a 999 call saying a kite surfer was in difficulty of the west links of Arbroath. Both Arbroath lifeboats were launched and Arbroath and Dundee coastguard teams also went the scene. The kite surfer had suffered an equipment fault. He managed to get himself ashore where he was checked over by the coastguards rescue teams.”

The kite surfer was unhurt in the incident.

Help for locals

The East Neuk of Fife village of St Monans, Pittenweem and Elie suffered a major loss of water when a 9 inch pipe in a field near St Monans burst in the early hours of Monday October 23rd leaving over 2000 homes without water for several hours.

Scottish Water sent out engineers to repair the broken pipe which had already flooded fields and roads nearby.
Arrangements were made quickly by Scottish water to disperse bottled water to vulnerable people in the affected areas.
Volunteers including members of Coastwatch St Monans helped to deliver bottled water to those vulnerable people.

The water supply was restored some 7 hours after the initial break.

Coastwatch St Monans operations manager John Kinsman said, “We normally work in saving lives at sea and on cliffs and coastal paths and lookout duties from our station, but we very happy to help in this situation where vulnerable persons needed help.”
Well done to all involved.

Featured image shows huge waves crashing over St Monans harbour during Storm Babet. All photos credit: John Kinsman