Pineap­ples ga­lore on Scot­land’s beaches

Beach­combers told to ex­pect a slice of the un­ex­pect­edly ex­otic

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - News - By Mike Mer­ritt MAIL@SUNDAYPOST.COM

For­get the win­ter weather... beaches in the High­lands and Is­lands are set to turn truly trop­i­cal.

Is­landers on the West Coast are be­ing urged to look out for a mas­sive flotilla of South Amer­i­can fruit on their beaches af­ter a cargo of ba­nanas and pineap­ples went over­board in the At­lantic.

Ex­perts be­lieve said that beaches in the Western Isles and Shet­land are the most likely des­ti­na­tion for the float­ing fruit cock­tail.

The alert echoes the plot of Whisky Ga­lore, the 1947 novel in which a cargo ship, the SS Politi­cian, is wrecked off a fic­tional Scot­tish is­land, with 50,000 crates of whisky aboard. Is­landers found their beaches awash with bot­tles and tried to hide their trea­sure in a book later made and re­made for the big-screen.

Now sci­en­tists are keen to hear of any finds be­cause iron­i­cally the trop­i­cal slick may help oceanic re­search.

A gi­ant re­frig­er­ated cargo ves­sel MV Lom­bok Strait is be­lieved to have lost two con­tain­ers of ba­nanas and pineap­ples over­board more than a week ago.

The 548- feet long ship is used by the trans­port arm of fruit gi­ant Del Monte.

A spokes­woman for the Mar­itime and Coast­guard Agency said that the Lom­bok Strait in­formed the UK Coast­guard on Oc­to­ber 22 that it had lost the con­tain­ers in bad weather.

“The con­tents of the con­tain­ers are ba­nanas and pineap­ples,” she said.

“The ves­sel re­quired no as­sis­tance, no crew sus­tained any in­juries and no other ves­sel was in­volved. The ves­sel was un­sure as to when ex­actly the con­tain­ers were lost, it could have been up to three days be­fore.”

A spokesman for the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­ment, Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Sci­ence ( CEFAS) said that the con­tain­ers were ex­pected to come ashore in about three weeks, any­where on the west coasts of the is­lands, or as far north as Shet­land.

The spokesman said: “The con­tain­ers were lost mid-At­lantic. As­sum­ing that the con­tain­ers broke up on en­ter­ing the wa­ter, and af­ter check­ing that ba­nanas and pineap­ples float, the po­ten­tial tra­jec­tory shows pos­si­ble land­falls along the Western Isles and Shet­lands.

“Out of in­ter­est and to help re­fine our fu­ture mod­els, the date and lo­ca­tion of any re­ports of land­fall by the fruit will help re­search.”

In 2015 Storm Rachel caused a sur­prise bo­nanza for beach­combers in Corn­wall with a del­uge of or­anges and lemons washed ashore.

Any­one sight­ing fruit is asked to con­tact the coast­guard and visit a Face­book page that logs washed-up ma­te­ri­als.

The CEFAS spokesman added:” Out of in­ter­est and to help re­fine our fu­ture mod­els, a re­quest was made for re­ports on Face­book group ‘Lost Lego at Sea’ which has an in­ter­est in ma­te­ri­als com­ing ashore. The date and lo­ca­tion of any re­ports of land­fall would help cal­i­brate the nu­mer­i­cal mod­els.”

A cu­ri­ous dog in­ves­ti­gates af­ter a pineap­ple, like those head­ing for Scot­land, is washed up

Is­landers get busy in Whisky Ga­lore re­make

Fa­mous novel

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