Marine News

By John Kinsman, St Monans Coastwatch, Fife.


Hundred of passengers on the paddle steamer Waverly were left high and dry when the vessel broke down in the middle of the Firth of Clyde. The Waverly was stuck between Helensburgh and Greenock for several hours but later made it in to Greenock. Waverly Excursions Ltd said it was due to a problem with the vessel’s boiler controls and it regretted the inconvenience and disappointment to passengers.
Engineers were called to try to repair the vessel. One passenger on board the paddle steamer said, “There are worse places to be stranded but after a while it does start to wear thin.”

The Waverly had set off from the centre of Glasgow at 10am on Saturday 25th August and it was due to stop in Helensburgh, Dunoon and Rothesay. However the vessel began to experience some trouble at Helensburgh where it was delayed. Passengers were told that it would continue it’s journey to Rothesay but it would no longer stop at Dunoon. It is understood the vessel was carrying some people planning to spend the day at the Cowal Highland games near Dunoon.

All the passengers were also given the option of leaving the vessel at Helensburgh. A passenger said “After that we set sail and we sailed for about 30 minutes before all engines cut out”. Waverly Excursions Ltd said it tried to book buses to transport passengers who disembarked at Helensburgh but none were available. Instead passengers were advised to continue their journey by train and apply for a refund on their fares.


The Scottish Wildlife Trust has secured new funding for its marine conservation work. It has won a £771,417 grant from the Esme Fairburn Foundation to expand its Living Seas project over the next five years. SWT will use the money to continue the projects work in the North West Highlands.


The 59th annual Sea Queen Gala day took place in the East Neuk of Fife fishing village of St. Monans on Saturday 25th August. Hundreds of people gathered at the harbour for the event which included stalls on the harbour front, pipe bands, the Army lifeboat, Coastwatch St Monans were there with their stall which included raffles etc.. There was a very special guest on the Coastwatch St Monans stall – Mr. Chris Chittle who plays Eric Pollard in Emmerdale. Mr. Chittle is the patrol of St Monans Coastwatch station. His appearance attracted a lot of interest from the large crowd.

The picture shows the 2018 St Monans Sea Queen and her royal party with Mr. Chittle visiting a retirement complex in St. Monans.