There is a lot happening in Dunbar Harbour, so we will keep you informed with our news articles and newsletter. Subscribe to our newsletter on the right of this article and come back to this news page often to read more. If you have news related to Dunbar Harbour then please send us a message using the form at the bottom and we will publish it here.


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Dunbar’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers were called out to assist a fishing boat in trouble the afternoon of 16th March.

UK Coastguard tasked the crew at 3.50pm after the Dunbar-registered Spitfire became tail-tied - when the propeller gets entangled in its own net - 2.3 miles northeast of the Bass Rock.

The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched from Dunbar Harbour and was on scene 30 minutes later. A tow was set up and the two vessels made their way back to Dunbar. As they approached the harbour, the volunteer crew adjusted the tow to bring the Spitfire alongside, then manoeuvred the fishing boat to a safe berth in the harbour.

The coastguard stood down the crew at 4.45pm.   Photo:credit RNLI

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Dunbar Harbour has the ambition of becoming a 'zero waste harbour'. The grant application has been sent off, to work with consultants from 'Resource Efficient Scotland' for improving waste management and resource efficiency.



Harbourmaster Quentin took part in production of this short film for Zero Waste Scotland  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2558434291140848

Also, how everyone can help:  https://bigplasticpledge.com/pledge/  

Many thanks to Quentin, aka ‘The Neil Oliver of Dunbar’, for teaching us all good habits.

Photo of Quentin’s ‘Early Sea School’ (by Kenny Maule)


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This grey seal pup hauled ashore on the old slip leading from Cromwell to the East Beach. Local residents called the rangers and everyone was warned to keep away: “dinnae scare him and dinnae gie him ony o’ yer germs, and they bite, ken?”.

The pup was monitored by rangers and the next day ‘ran away to sea’ whilst still a youngster.

Photo 1 by Kenny Maule (at a distance with a telephoto setting)

Note: Seals eat primarily fish, using their whiskers for locating prey. Seals can feel the slightest movements in the water. In that way, seals can ‘see’ in turbulent water where the fish are, up to a distance of 100 meters. Flatfish, lesser sandeel and cod species are their favorite food when available. Pups must teach themselves to catch fish after nursing ends. Their mother doesn’t teach them the tricks. In this period, young seals lose a lot of weight. But eventually, most of them learn it in time. Phew!

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2, credit Ecomare Museum, Texel, The Netherlands This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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21/3/20 “Dunbar lifeboat crew launched this morning at 2.30am (editor: yes, 2.30am while you were fast asleep) to a report of a person in the harbour. A man, aged around 30, had entered the water believing there to be a person in trouble aboard a small pleasure craft moored in the harbour. As the lifeboat prepared to launch, the man managed to get out of the water unaided.

The crew of the inshore lifeboat (ILB) searched the boat, the harbour and the surrounding area but found no trace of anyone else in the water or in trouble. Meanwhile, the shore crew established that the man was clearly in an inebriated and confused state and had mistaken the reflection of street lights on the boat for someone signalling for help. Fortunately, he was unhurt and did not require medical treatment.”

A spokesman for Dunbar Lifeboat said: “We urge anyone who believes there to be someone in trouble in the water to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Do not enter the water. It only puts yourself and potentially others in danger.”

The man was sent on his ‘merry’ way with his friend responsible for looking after him.

photo by Kenny Maule

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Watch "Off the cuff part 2 Episode 45" on YouTube -- One Man And His Boat     https://youtu.be/kfNTBcpbQWU

Barry Brunton has been working all winter on his recently-built hull. He’s filmed the various stages and cheered up his viewers with a positive presentational style. Remember to hit “Subscribe” to help Barry reach 1,000 ‘subscribes‘ he needs for ‘You Tube’. Also the bell symbol for future alerts, AND you can share to others.

Looking forward to seeing him ‘hit the water’ this summer.

Photo by Barry himself

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Greek culture quiz: OK, eagle-eyes, where is this 'Parthenon'? 

 Come on, you've seen it dozens of times, and probably fallen over it before now.

Photos by Kenny Maule. Click <<READ MORE>> to see the answer.


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As per Government guidelines, Dunbar Harbour Trust is closing the harbour to non-essential marine traffic for the foreseeable future.

All events at the Dunbar Battery are suspended until further notice.

Watch this space. Happier days will come, see Fraser Stewart's photo above.

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On the 21st of March HMS Albion sped past Dunbar, just offshore, en-route from Stavanger to her Plymouth home-base.

There's always interesting traffic, keep your eyes seaward.

Photos from https://www.marinetraffic.com

Click <<READ MORE>> to see Photo 2: the sea-track of HMS Albion.

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The skipper of fishing vessel Artemis (FR 809) sufered severe head injuries and died after he fell head-first through an access hatch. The vessel was berthed alongside in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland and he had just returned from an afternoon ashore with one of his deckhands. Both had spent 3 hours in a local public house drinking alcohol.

It was not possible to determine whether he slipped, tripped or stumbled before he fell as there was no witness. MAIB accident statistics indicate that, since 1992, alcohol was a contributing factor in 62% of the 42 fishing vessel fatalities that have occurred while in port.

Safety lessons 

  • Artemis was in port and its skipper and deckhand were not undertaking any work activities when the accident happened. Excessive alcohol consumption will severely undermine an individual’s judgment and coordination. 
  • Post-build modifcations to the access route between the vessel’s wheelhouse and the mess deck increased the likelihood and consequences of someone falling through the mess deck hatch’s unguarded opening. The hatch required a physical barrier to prevent personnel inadvertently falling through the opening.

Full Marine Accident Investigation report on www.gov.uk/maib

Photo from the full report

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Photo 1  our FIRST kittiwake (magnifying glass out, can you spot it?) taking up residence on 24th February.

There will be hundreds on Dunbar Castle during spring and summer! The Kittiwake is a delicate and dainty seabird whose name resembles its calls. Can you hear them squawking “Ki-i-i-ti-wa-a-ke”? 

  • Food: Small fish, especially sandeels; the kittiwakes follow our fishing boats.
  • Nest site: On our castle walls or over-hanging rock faces. Their nests are mud, grass or seaweed, on impossibly-small ledges.
  • Breeding: Mid May to mid June, 2 eggs. The young birds depart in August to live off Greenland Coast then return to Dunbar after 2 years.
  • Wintering: Adults spend winter over the North Atlantic, as far as Canada, however some fly south.

An old Dunbar saying: Kittiwakes should return by the 16th March for Dunbar's ‘happy and prosperous summer’.

Photo above by Quentin Dimmer 

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo #2 (by Kenny Maule, during breeding, last summer)

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404