NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Historic vessel Reaper refloated after being blown over

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Media captionThe Reaper overturned during a fishing festival at Johnshaven

A historic fishing vessel has been refloated after it overturned in high winds during a festival in Aberdeenshire.

One person was taken to hospital when the Reaper, a 70ft vessel dating back to 1902, blew on to its side at Johnshaven Harbour.

Firefighters from Inverbervie and Stonehaven had worked to pump water from the hull.

Reaper is one of the few of its kind to have remained in a seagoing condition.

The boat, which was re-fitted in 2004, is part of the core collection of the national historic ships fleet.

Image copyright HM Coastguard Angus and Mearns
Image caption A lifeboat and coastguard team were sent to the scene

Joan Paton, chairwoman of the Scottish Fisheries Museum Boats Club, said members of the public had been onboard when it was blown over.

She said: "We were just opening the boat to the public, all was going very well, the boat was looking pristine, very clean and tidy.

"Unfortunately, just a freak gust of wind caught the sail, a rope snapped and she just keeled right over.

"We had a few members of the public on board but the crew were all very, very quick to respond and it was a case of just getting everybody off as quickly and as efficiently and safely as possible, which we did."

A crew member was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee to be treated for minor injuries.

Image caption The Reaper was successfully refloated on Sunday

Ms Paton, who described the vessel as a "floating museum" said she was hopeful it could be repaired.

She added: "Reaper is the last authentic Fifie Herring Drifter on the coast and we take her to various venues and open her up to the public and just bring to light what it was like over a hundred years ago when our forebears were at the fishing.

"She's a floating museum down below - no pun intended on the floating - but we'll get her back to the way she should be and hopefully we'll be able to continue on."

A lifeboat and a coastguard response team from Stonehaven attended the incident, which was first reported at 13:20 on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "We sent a lifeboat and coastguard rescue team from Stonehaven and the person that was injured was taken to hospital by ambulance."

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