Brave fish­er­man praised

Friend hailed for res­cue at­tempt

The Galloway News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE -

A sher­iff has paid trib­ute to the “in­cred­i­ble brav­ery” of a fish­er­man who tried to res­cue his mate af­ter he fell over­board from a scal­lop boat.

Dar­ren Ren­nie dived into the wa­ter and put a rope around Scott Ren­nie who was pulled back onto the boat.

But his crew­mates were un­able to save him as ef­forts to re­sus­ci­tate him be­fore the coast­guard he­li­copter ar­rived were un­suc­cess­ful.

A fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry into the death of Mr Ren­nie, who fell over­board from the King Challenger near Shet­land in June, 2016, took place at Ler­wick Sher­iff Court last week. The boat be­longs to Kirkcud­bright firm West Coast Sea Prod­ucts.

Sher­iff Ian Cruick­shank praised the brav­ery of Dar­ren Ren­nie in his res­cue bid.

The in­quiry has also heard con­flict­ing ev­i­dence over how 34-year-old Mr Ren­nie from New­ton Stewart fell over­board. The court heard by vide­olink from ex-fish­er­man Paul Jones, who had been on board the King Challenger at the time.

Mr Jones, 38, said that he saw Scott knocked over­board by the port side dredge bar when it “flipped over” ow­ing to the mo­tion of the sea.

His ev­i­dence con­flicted with a state­ment he had given to the po­lice that was read out by procu­ra­tor fis­cal Rosie Cook. But Jones told Ler­wick Sher­iff Court that he had been in shock when he gave the state­ment to po­lice, just af­ter he learned his friend, who he de­scribed as a “bril­liant char­ac­ter”, had died.

Crew­man Iain Bell, who had been op­er­at­ing the port side gear winches, said that Mr Ren­nie had sim­ply tum­bled over­board with no con­tact from the gear that was in the process of be­ing mended.

The in­quiry has been ad­journed un­til a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing on Novem­ber 21.

Scal­lop boat The King Challenger which be­longs to West Coast Sea Prod­ucts of Kirkcud­bright

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