We're very sad to say goodbye to three Directors who have performed vital tasks over their many years on the Harbour Trust.
John Band was a founder member of Dunbar Harbour Trust Association going on to be a Board Director following the Harbour Revision Order creating Dunbar Harbour Trust in 2004 when he served on the Board for 7 years. He re-joined the Trust after a break to pursue other interests and helped develop the harbour for the benefit of the community. John has now reached the maximum 12 years service. The photo is John whilst crossing the Bay of Biscay in a deep, dark December long ago, "asleep on watch", previously a flogging offence.
John is still an active member of Dunbar Sailing Club and had a boat in the harbour for over 20 years.
PS: we may occasionally call John for his detailed memory of important technical information on the bridge, and other projects.
Robin Hamilton is a retired civil engineer and has been on the Dunbar Harbour Trust since 2009. Before retiring he worked as a Director with East of Scotland Water and had 25 years in the water industry. To our good fortune, his engineering experience gave him a specialist insight into the complexity of keeping our harbour walls safe and secure. He's also been a dab hand at accessing funding from many sources.
He will soon have a wee bit more time for his interests of curling, golf, walking, Rotary and caravanning.
PS: we may find occasion to call Robin to inform us on the important projects he headed up on behalf of the Trust, particularly in relation to the vital protection of our harbour walls.
Steven Anderson has been a member of the Harbour Trust since 2009. As a qualified architect Steven has been actively involved in the future improvement of the built-environment in the harbour, most notably the ambitious Dunbar Battery refurbishing and development. He also recently drove the Maggie Stores building which has given us five secure stores.
A local resident, self confessed land-lover and father of three, Steven has a keen interest in sport which is a good fit with his current job as Project Manager with Sportscotland. He will still continue to organise the 'Friends of Dunbar Battery' group.
PS: we anticipate calling Steven for the contacts he used in the most-important projects he brought to successful conclusion.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is to use surveillance aircraft to check that fishermen are wearing lifejackets at sea.
Tim Oliver of the MCA reports: "Wearing lifejackets or using a safety harness at all times was made compulsory in December 2018 on all vessels, unless a vessel has a documented risk-assessment to show that risks of going overboard are controlled in another way. The move is an element of increased monitoring of the UK fishing fleet that has been announced by the MCA to improve safety and well-being for everyone working on fishing vessels.
The MCA will be taking full advantage of resources and new technology – for example, the use of new fixed-wing aircraft with high-quality cameras onboard. It will use the aircraft to search for pollution at sea, and in search operations. “The planes will also be equipped to observe and report on the operations of fishing vessels which are not complying with UK legislation, for example the wearing of personal flotation devices (PFDs) and lifejackets on a fishing vessel.” said the MCA.
David Fenner, head of fishing-safety at the MCA, commented: “Fishing is still the most dangerous profession in the UK today and, whilst we are seeing improvements in safety, tragically there were seven lives lost in the industry last year, all of which could have been prevented."
The Harbourmaster recently assured the Trust that most Dunbar fishermen now do wear their lifejackets when out at sea.
The new Maggie Stores are now occupied. To view them just continue along the South Quay, past the Vaults, past the Castle and turn left, and there you are. It's a working area so mind fishermen, ropes and creels. On the right are fishing-net mending posts for future use.
Many thanks again to the Harbour Trust's Steven Anderson who designed these and maximised the tight space for these five, very useful, stores.
Our warm welcome to David Dunbar who has recently joined the Harbour Trust Board.
The Appointing Body agreed remotely (pandemic restrictions) that David Dunbar should be appointed as a trustee to Dunbar Harbour Trust with effect from 1st April 2021. David will also be appointed as a Director of Dunbar Harbour Trust Ltd from that date.
David is well known as a current RYA Senior Instructor for sail, power, and keel, a BCU Kayak Coach and instructor with the Sea Cadets, and an experienced yachtie. Professionally, his background is Electronics and IT and, having worked in Telecoms, Banking, and Conultancy, and he is now in IT with a branch of central Government.
Well, with a name like Dunbar he's a dead cert for the harbour.
The Harbour Trust's application for a grant of £64,000 from Marine Scotland was successful (hooray!) and will provide Dunbar's fishermen with several improvements. Robin Hamilton is working with A.G. Thomson to complete these works by the funds' specified time-limits. Possible works:---
The safety-rail and road improvements along south pier
Two sets of branders and ladders at Cromwell
Improved moorings in Cromwell Harbour,
Replacement rams for the Harbour Bridge (the safe working of the bridge is critical to the smooth running of the harbour)
Plates for the bridge
Repairs to the harbour wall in Broadhaven near McArthur Store (see photo of a sudden rock-fall)
Every year, Robin Hamilton of the Trust, inspects our harbour walls for winter damage. Usually this is a manual inspection requiring a crane, several skilled men, and a low tide with good weather. This year Robin asked Jeff (yes, that man above with his trusty drone, again) to help us out. This was a great success, being safer, quicker and free! Our security depends on safe, strong walls.
Photo 1 above by Kenny Maule. Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2 of the damage one average winter can cause.
Dunbar RNLI are searching for a Community Safety Officer to join their team of volunteers.
RNLI: "This role is pivotal to the design and implementation of our Community Lifesaving Plan. You will liaise closely with the Community Incident Reduction Manager and the wider team at the lifeboat station to produce a community lifesaving plan that is aimed at reducing fatalities and serious incidents by targeting particular “at risk” groups with specifically-focused interventions.
If you would like to join a friendly and motivated team, have some of the required skills, and would like to invest some of your time into a community focussed drive to improve water-safety in the area, we would like to hear from you. Training will be provided to ensure a full knowledge of the RNLI and in particular the work of a Community Safety Officer.
Please contact us at Dunbar@rnli.org.uk with any enquiries, or to apply for this role. Our thanks to 'Mr Smith Aerial' for his photograph of Belhaven Bridge."
Shags have started nesting at Castlefoot Rock. See photo above with their mating crests visible. They threatened that herring gull until he agreed to leave them alone.
Pamela Maule gets the 'eagle eyes' prize, having spotted some kittiwakes arriving on the 13th of March. There is an old superstition that kittiwakes should arrive here in Dunbar by the 16th of March for a ‘happy and prosperous summer’ so they made it with a comfortable 3 days to spare; must have been the strong westerlies. They are now awaiting their mates before feeding up on sand eels and starting a new family.
Photos by Kenny Maule. Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo of kittiwake.
1) Why were there RAF planes and helicopters circling offshore? This was 'Operation Chameleon'. There were several tankers feeding fuel to the attack aircraft during a training exercise.
See Photo 1 by Bob Fleet. Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2. Three attack aircraft decided it was time to go home, having 'drunk their fill'.
2) Why were there RAF planes and helicopters circling us at night in early-March? Two planes have spent recent nights circling the Lothians, Fife, and the Firth of Forth, moving in very specific spirals until the early hours. Residents heard one Beechcraft and two helicopters coming and going til around 5am. They spent the night circling near Dunbar, North Berwick, and East Linton. This trio was involved in an intelligence gathering exercise.