SCAL­LOPS WAR

Bri­tish fish­ing boats pelted with flares & oil by French crews

Daily Mirror - - NEWS - BY ADAM ASPINALL adam.aspinall@mir­ror.co.uk @Mir­rorAsp

FISH­ING wars have again bro­ken out in the English Chan­nel as French trawlers con­fronted Bri­tish boats in the mid­dle of the night, fir­ing flares.

Two Bri­tish ves­sels, the Girl Macey and the Golden Prom­ise, say they were sur­rounded by about 20 French crews and pelted by ob­jects such as fry­ing pans and rocks.

Brian Whit­ting­ton, 43, skip­per of the Golden Prom­ise, said of the 1.30am in­ci­dent: “I was ex­pect­ing it this time, they only do it in the dark.

“We were about two miles apart and I had two or three boats around me.

“Scott [Glover, cap­tain of the Girl Macey] had 15 around him, throw­ing oil at him and fir­ing flares. I was men­tally pre­pared, I knew it was go­ing to hap­pen again.”

The deep-sea skir­mish, some 12 miles off the French coast in Baie de la Seine, has sparked fears hos­til­i­ties are wors­en­ing and a death is in­evitable. Bri­tish

scal­lop­ers are per­mit­ted to fish year round, but the French are not al­lowed be­tween May 15 and Oc­to­ber 1. This cre­ates ten­sion in au­tumn as the French try to keep UK boats from the best ar­eas.

Both Bri­tish ves­sels are based out of Brix­ham, Devon. Derek Mered­ith, owner of the Golden Prom­ise, said: “When I heard I was very con­cerned. If that flare went into the wheel­house the boat would have burned up, and would the French have helped?

“The boat would sink and the French would just leave our boys to drown.”

He called on the Royal Navy to help. He added: “Last year they smashed our win­dows and stuff and they get away with it.”

De­spite the dan­gers, Brian and Scott must re­turn to earn their liv­ing. Brian said: “I’m go­ing back to­day, it will hap­pen again tonight. We don’t fight back ... then it will be our fault not theirs.”

The boat would sink & the French would leave our boys to drown

DEREK MERED­ITH OWNS THE GOLDEN PROM­ISE

FIR­ING FLARES Footage from Bri­tish boats sur­rounded in the Chan­nel CLASH Boats in early hours of Mon­day

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