Fishermen to the rescue as boat sinks

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An Eyemouth lifeboat crewman was rescued by three fishermen after his boat sank off the Berwickshire coast while he was out lobster-fishing last Thursday.

In a strange twist of fate, Bruce Marshall had spoken to one of the fishermen, Karl Flitton, the day before and told them the best spots to fish to be in with a good chance of a catch.

Early the next morning the three men – Karl Flitton, Graham Campbell and Anthony Blades, who had travelled to Eyemouth from County Durham in England for a week-long fishing trip – followed Bruce’s advice.

Bruce was fishing in the same area at the time, and the men recognised him on his boat.

Graham said: “He sailed past us and waved while he was pulling his crab nets in. All of a sudden, Anthony shouted ‘he’s going down’.

“It literally took seconds for the whole boat to sink, and he was pulled down with it.”

The lads immediately turned on the boat’s engine and went to the scene, but they were unable to locate Bruce initially.

Graham said it seemed like a while, but they eventually spotted him and managed to grab him and haul him from the water into their boat and take him back to shore.

“It didn’t really sink in at the time what had happened, but now we are all a bit shell-shocked by it,” Graham added.

“It is such an uncanny twist of fate because if Karl hadn’t been talking to him the day before, we would have gone somewhere else to fish and that lad would have died. It is like it was meant to be.”

Bruce, who was fishing for lobsters, told the Berwickshire: “I will be for ever grateful to the three fishermen.

“It was just one of those things. It went down in less than a minute.

“I don’t know what happened. The boat was structurally sound. It had passed its MoT a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t even a rough day. I have no explanation for it.”

He now just wants to put the incident behind him so he and his family can get on with their lives, he said.