Historic fishing vessel capsizes at fish festival

Emergency services tried to right the vessel. Photo courtesy of HM Coastguard Angus & Mearns.
Emergency services tried to right the vessel. Photo courtesy of HM Coastguard Angus & Mearns.
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A historic fishing vessel capsized during Johnshaven Fish Festival on Saturday.

A strong gust of wind caught the sails of the 70-foot Reaper, which dates back to 1902, with one of the crew members being thrown overboard.

The man suffered neck and shoulder injuries and was taken to hospital.

Stonehaven Coastguard Rescue Team, RNLI Stonehaven and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attempted to right the Reaper, which involved four pumps, but unfortunately the vessel could not be righted.

However, yesterday (Sunday) a salvage operation managed to winch the vessel upright again.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard Angus & Mearns said: “A strong gust of wind caught the sails capsizing the vessel throwing one of the six crew overboard onto the harbour floor.

“The team responded immediately, assessing casualty for injuries finding both neck and shoulder injuries.

“The casualty was immobilised with neck brace and short board and extracted to the waiting ambulance.”

The Reaper is a Fifie Sailing Herring Drifter.

Built by J & G Forbes at their yard at Sandhaven, near Fraserburgh, in 1902 for the Buchan family who lived in St. Combs, she began life as a two masted sailing lugger.

First registered in Fraserburgh in 1902 and used for drift net and great line fishing she was sold to new owners in Shetland in 1908.

Reaper has also made appearances at Arbroath Seafest.