Fishing boats are sunk in suspected vandal attack

Police are hunting vandals who targeted three vessels, including a trawler moored at Fleetwood's Jubilee Quay.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 9:22 am
Three fishing boats were sunk by vandals at Jubilee Quay, Fleetwood. Picture by Will Bamber.

The trawler Amaranth and two inshore fishing boats were partially sunk after holes were smashed in their hulls during daylight hours on Sunday.

Town fisherman Will Bamber, 33, was one of the first to survey the damage.

He said: “I got a phone call from another fisherman about it.

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Three fishing boats were sunk by vandals at Jubilee Quay, Fleetwood. Picture by Will Bamber.

“I went down there and by the time I got there it was too late for two of the boats – they were completely submerged.

“The third smaller boat was in a bad state so I grabbed a little dinghy boat and used it to go out to the boats.

“I was in a bit of a state because I didn’t know how I was going to move it.

“Luckily the Fleetwood Fishing Trips boat was just coming in and between us we managed to throw a couple of ropes on it and drag it to safety.

Three fishing boats were sunk by vandals at Jubilee Quay, Fleetwood. Picture by Will Bamber.

“Boats just don’t sink on their own. They have been there for more than a year without any issues.

“There has definitely been a break-in.

“One of the windows on the trawler has been smashed, and that’s reinforced glass.

“There’s a hatch on the stern which was locked from the inside and that’s been opened.

“All the batteries have been ripped out. There’s damage that couldn’t have been caused when it sunk.”

The Amaranth, a 54ft two-man trawler, had been moored at Jubilee Quay for at least a year.

It has plied its trade in Scottish waters and had been last at sea in 2013 when it was rescued near Workington after suffering steering problems.

The smaller fishing boats were brought back to the surface yesterday.

Fifth-generation fisherman Mr Bamber added that the suspected attack is another blow to the town’s struggling fishing industry

He said: “I have had boats here for nearly 10 years and over those years I have had at least 100 incidents with vandals. It’s a very bad spot for kids.

“I’m a commercial fisherman and there’s not many of us left. It’s a declining industry and Fleetwood has felt the brunt.

“This just adds insult to injury.

“I feel worried because I have a boat down there and I have a lot of money invested in the business and the thought that I could go down there and it’s my boat that’s gone is a major concern.

“It could have happened to any of us.

“The fishing boats will probably live to work another day, but it really finished off the trawler – it’ll probably have to be scrapped.

“It’s a real shame.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called at around 6pm on Sunday night to reports that two fishing boats had been sunk.

“It was suggested that it is the work of vandals.