15 August 2016 Reaper damaged at Johnshaven
Reaper FR958, the 113 year old Fifie Herring Drifter, the seagoing flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, has been damaged whilst attending the Johnshaven Fish Festival on Saturday 6th August.
Reaper FR958, the 113 year old Fifie Herring Drifter, the seagoing flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, has been damaged whilst attending the Johnshaven Fish Festival on Saturday 6th August. Just before opening to Festival visitors, a sudden gust of wind on her big red foresail led to mooring tackles snapping and the boat falling over onto her port side damaging her hull. Neil Bone, the Boats Club Secretary was the only person injured as he fell down onto the harbour mud, but he is thankfully recovering at home. Before being righted, the rising tide led to Reaper taking in water, and it was 48 hours before she was pumped out and back on an even keel.
The Museum Trustees and the Boats Club are very grateful to all those in the local community, the emergency services and others for their tremendous and generous support for the crew and the boat following the roll, which is continuing whilst the boat is prepared for passage to a slip for damage assessment and initial repair. The Museum Trustees are also grateful to and proud of Reaper’s Skipper (Mike Barton) and crew for their professional handling of the roll and the subsequent recovery, and for the long hours put in over the first week.
Unfortunately, the hull damage is such that the boats Club has regrettably cancelled Reaper’s attendance at the remaining 2016 events, and sends its apologies to the organisers involved. We are looking at the ability to involve White Wing in some of the events, and also beginning to think how best to have a Museum involvement in the 2017 events season during which Reaper will be having her big refit.
The Museum, its boatyard team and its marine surveyors had scheduled a major 25 year refit of Reaper for late 2017 onwards to maintain the boat’s continued seagoing capability so that she can deliver the Museum’s unique outreach activities to coastal communities around Scotland. The damage incurred at Johnshaven means that this major refit has to be brought forward so that we can get the boat back to her educational and outreach mission. The Museum has begun to explore how best to fund the refit, which had already been defined in detail by our Boat Building Manager, Leonardo Bortolami, and our marine surveyors, James MacGregor and Ian MacLeod.
Expressions of support have been pouring into the Museum, including generous donations towards the initial repairs of Reaper. Friends and supporters of Reaper who would like to make a donation to the Museum to help fund the boat’s initial repair can do so through https://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ReaperRepair. Every donation will be so important and so much valued, and the Trustees and Boats Club sincerely thank everyone for their support and for the genuine warm concern for Reaper that has been shown. The Museum will keep everyone updated on progress through the website (www.scotfishmuseum.org) and other media.