FINDOCHTY FISHING BOAT WRECKED
On Friday a strong gale of wind was blowing across the Pentland Firth, which increased at nightfall to a hurricane. About 9pm the news was circulated in Thurso that a fishing boat had been driven on the rocks between Scrabster & Thurso. The information had been brought by one of the crew, who had scrambled ashore when the boat struck the rock.
The lifesaving apparatus immediately proceeded to the spot , but fortunately all the crew were safely landed before the rocket company arrived. The boat turned out to be the fishing craft BF 656 Victory belonging to Findochty, (James Sutherland skipper) & was on her way from Findochty to the West coast fishing at Stornoway. Leaving Findochty on Thursday, everything went well until they were five miles off the Skerry Tongue, on Friday when the the gale struck them. The boat became unmanageable, & the skipper was forced to let her run before the wind.
On rounding Holburn Head, Scrabster, two anchors were lowered with the intention of checking the boat & taking her into Scrabster Roads. The anchors however would not hold against the gale which was blowing, and the result was that the boat was thrown on the rocks about a 1/4 mile from Thurso. With the heavy sea running, the boat was gradually washed against the outstanding headland rocks. A young lad, one of the crew, seized an opportunity caught hold of the bank, & after climbing up the steep rocks, made for Thurso. It being very dark, & the boat having no lights, it was impossible for anyone to see it going ashore.
The crew of all eight hands were all safely landed & none the worse for their adventure, with the exception of the skipper who was very much exhausted, but now has almost recovered. The boat which is only three years old, now lies in a bad condition, &, it is feared will shortly become a total wreck. On Saturday the fishing gear & the men's belongings were taken from the wreck & despatched to Findochty per rail. The crew certainly have a great deal to be thankful for, when it is considered that they fortunatley drifted past past the outer rocks through the channel. If they had struck on the outer reef it is quite probable that they would have all been lost.
It appears that the boat was not insured, which means a big loss to the skipper who is owner.The boat is one of Zulu build, & had all the latest improvements. The skipper had four sons on board.