The two Filipino seamen who survived the sinking of the Fraserburgh registered trawler Ocean Way yesterday attended a memorial service for their three lost colleagues.
The trawler, skippered by Fraserburgh man James Noble, 45, went down on November 2 off the coast of the Farne Islands.
The tragedy caused the loss of two Filipinos – 34-year-old Jhunitzquo Antonio jun and 38-year-old Michael Pulpul – and the skipper.
Yesterday, the survivors, Romulo Roche, 28, and Nixon Ocon, 38, fought back tears in the town’s Old Parish Church to pay tribute to the three men they described as being like family to them.
Speaking after the service, Mr Roche said: “James was a gentleman. Michael was like a brother.
“It was like a family. Me, Michael and Jhunitzquo we stayed for a long time – 10 months we stayed together. Every day that we woke up, we saw the same faces. We loved each other.”
Mr Ocon added: “We always worked together with a smile. The loss – we can never get it back again.”
More than 100 people had attended the service at the church, including friends, family and co-workers, as well as dozens of members from the local Filipino community who performed a traditional mourning song.
Miriam Kemp, the local Fishermen’s Mission’s superintendent, conducted the service and told stories of Mr Noble that had been passed on by family members.
Describing him as “water daft” and “inquisitive” as a child, she said: “James went to Sunday School as many did and he was in the Life Boys, and then the BBs right up until he was 16.
“But, by then, he decided to go to the sea for real.”
Billy Edwards, the boat’s owner, said last night he was pleased to see so many people turn out for the crew.
“You see the support from the Filipino community, I think it’s wonderful.
“My thoughts are with the families of those that didn’t survive. That’s the sad bit about a fishing tragedy,” he added.
Fraserburgh councillor Charles Buchan, himself a former fisherman, revealed that the community was “shocked” by the suddenness of the men’s deaths.
He said: “Obviously, my thoughts are with the families of the fishermen.”
The memorial, which was open to those who knew the men, also raised funds through donations for the local branches of the Fishermen’s Mission and the RNLI.