Boat helped in re­cov­ery of downed pi­lot

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - 1980s, will now stand as a mon­u­ment to Burghead’s fish­ing her­itage. The squad, led by Mr Wil­son, spent sev­eral weeks scrap­ing and sand­ing years of ne­glect from the hull be­fore brush­ing three coats of paint on it. He said: “In a place like Mo­ray, the cha

The Har­vest Reaper is one of the most cel­e­brated boats to have fished the Mo­ray Firth.

Built in Fraser­burgh, it was based at the port un­der the stew­ard­ship of John Downie Mey from the 1930s un­til 1965.

And it was while he was at the helm that the ves­sel be­came in­volved in at­tempts to res­cue a pi­lot from an air­craft that ditched in the sea.

Shortly be­fore noon on April 29 1946 a Fire­fly air­craft fly­ing out of the naval air base at Rat­tray, near Fraser­burgh, got into dif­fi­cul­ties about six miles off the coast.

The plane lost power and ditched near the Har­vest Reaper – break­ing off her mast in the process. The crew im­me­di­ately rushed to the plane in an at­tempt to help the pi­lot, who was 20-year-old Ken­neth Wil­liams from Liver­pool, but were sadly un­able to save his life.

The ves­sel re­mained in Fraser­burgh, later un­der the com­mand of Mr Mey’s son Jim, be­fore she was sold to new own­ers in Mac­duff.

The weath­ered hull re­mained on the quay­side at Burghead af­ter run­ning aground off the coast in the 1980s – where it re­mained un­til Jan­uary 2015 when Mo­ray Coun­cil de­manded it was moved in or­der to make way for de­vel­op­ments at the har­bour.

Now the boat is per­ma­nently based in the vil­lage so more can learn about its cel­e­brated past.

The boat be­ing moved to Burghead in 2015

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