Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘Almost cost a life’: Moray fisherman saved from sea after life rings removed from Portknockie Harbour

A life ring at Portknockie Harbour.
A life ring at Portknockie Harbour.

Passers-by had to think quickly to save a man from drowning off Portknockie Harbour this week after finding its vital life rings had been removed.

Four wild swimmers and a boat rushed to help a fisherman who had fallen into the sea from the breakwater on Wednesday.

There are usually two life rings on the north pier at the harbour, but the life-saving equipment was nowhere to be found when the rescuers went to grab them.

Instead, they used a nearby creel pot that was attached to a line for the fisherman to grab onto, dragging him to a ladder to climb to safety.

Though the man was checked over by ambulance crews and found to be unharmed, the close call prompted a stark warning to people tampering with life-saving equipment.

‘Removing these life rings almost cost a life’

Harbourmasters conduct a full check at or near the end of each month and all harbour staff conduct spot checks when they’re in the area.

The life rings were in position when last checked at Portknockie Harbour about two weeks ago.

Moray Council’s harbourmaster, Darren Bremner, said it was the first time life rings had gone missing.

Boats docked at the Portknockie Harbour
Portknockie Harbour. Photo: DC Thomson

“Removing these life rings almost cost a life,” he said. “Nobody wants that on their conscience.

“Quick thinking and luck that there were swimmers in the area means there was a more positive outcome on this occasion, but it could so easily have been a different story.

In light of this most recent incident, parents are being urged to make sure their children are aware of the dangers of removing life rings.

‘An ingenious solution’

Coastguard teams advise anyone around the coast to be aware of tide times, consider wearing a life jacket and take a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.

Colin Wood, senior coastal operations officer for Moray with HM Coastguard, echoed Mr Bremner’s claims that Wednesday’s incident at Portknockie could have had a worse outcome.

He said: “The quick-thinking people nearby saved a life but, had they not thought of a bit of an ingenious solution, it could have been a very different outcome.

“Safety equipment saves lives and when it is missing, a life is potentially put in grave danger, it is that simple.”

If you see anyone removing life rings, alert the harbourmaster immediately on 01542 831700.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it

[[title]]