Thursday, 28 January 2010
On the27 January an Ayrshire fisherman told STV News how he and his fellow crewmen escaped serious injury after a cargo vessel collided with their boat off the Isle of Arran.
Donald Gibson, 40, was on the bridge of his ship the Spes Bona V at around 1.10am on Wednesday when he noticed cargo vessel heading towards them.
Mr Gibson said he realised that the cargo ship – the Leeswig - was not going to move so he took evasive action.
The Maybole fisherman told STV News: "We were trawling for prawns and displaying all the signs that we were fishing. We were facing each other. It became apparent the ship wasn’t going to change course, so I took evasive action.
"We were hit on the port side, quite high up, which is the strongest part of the boat. We were very fortunate. Had we been slow to react it (the Leeswig) would have crashed right into the boat and it would have capsized us.
"I would like to think that somebody was in the wheelhouse of the Leeswig and saw us, but I just don’t know.
"The Leeswig just carried on like nothing had happened. We got all our gear up and went to Troon harbour with the assistance of the Clyde Coastguard."
Mr Gibson said the Spes Bona is 36 tonnes but the Leeswig was an estimated 2,500 tonnes. He added: "He (Leeswig) wouldn’t have felt it. It would be like an artic lorry hitting a kid’s bike. It could have been a very different outcome."
Mr Gibson was on the boat with his brother and captain Robert Gibson, from Dunure near Ayr, and two Filipino fishermen called Rodolpho Soriano and Esterio Villamor.
Mr Gibson said the Spes Bona was fishing around three miles south east of the Isle of Arran when the accident happened. Clyde Coastguard confirmed that a lifeboat was sent to the scene and escorted the Spes Bona to Troon. The damaged ship, they added, was not taking on water.
The spokesman added they had briefly spoken to somebody on the Leeswig, who said they were on route to Spain. It is not known what the location of the Leeswig is now. The boat is thought to be registered in St John’s, the capital of Antigua and Barbuda
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch stated on its website that they have a launched an initial investigation into a collision between the two vessels.
Story courtesy of STV news