A Moray fisherman fears he could be left high and dry for several months after his vessel sank to the bottom of a harbour – but is just relieved he still has it.
Keith Sutherland’s boat Emblem was one of two crafts that began to take on water at Burghead on Friday night.
The Hopeman-based fisherman, who predominantly catches prawn and squid, returned the following morning at about 5.30am with his nephew to begin pumping water out of the vessel – before getting help from a local who offered his tractor to get the boat back on an even keel.
Yesterday, the boat was afloat again at the harbour while the other vessel affected, Pegasus, remained almost completely submerged.
Mr Sutherland admitted he feared his craft could have been lost completely.
He said: “There’s been a lot of damage inside the cab, the electronics are ruined, I’m just surprised it’s not a total write-off. We’re going to fix it but it could be a few months, depending on what the insurance says.
“It was a really low tide, lower than what we expected. She began taking on water as the tide came back. I was on board. I called the fire bridge, who did everything they could with pumps, but it was too much for them and I had to abandon ship.
“We were prepared to get going with buckets to get the water back out again on Saturday but we had a bit of help from people, which was good of them.”
Three fire crews were called to Burghead Harbour shortly before 9pm on Friday following reports of the vessels taking on water.
Lifeboats kept a watchful eye on the fishing boats to ensure they did not break free from their moorings and drift out to sea.
Yesterday, only the rigging and roof of the cab on Pegasus remained above water while other fishermen took advantage of the fine weather to perform maintenance on their own vessels. The sight of the submerged boat drew curious glances from onlookers.
Fire crews confirmed that nobody was aboard either boat when they left the scene on Friday at 9.30pm.