Moray fishing skipper fears over blaze-hit boat

Firefighters tackle the blaze from a lifeboat (pic: RNLI)
Firefighters tackle the blaze from a lifeboat (pic: RNLI)

THE MORAY SKIPPER of a fishing boat that was hit by a suspicious fire in Peterhead harbour this week says he is facing ruin.

Police have said that a man has been detained in connection with the blaze on the ‘Tranquility’ on Thursday night.

Emergency services were called at around 10.30pm on Thursday with the RNLI’s Peterhead lifeboat taking Fire and Rescue Service firefighters to the vessel as flames burned fiercely on her deck.

The Tranquility was still smouldering on Friday morning as fire crews remained on a ‘damping down’ operation – but the fishing boat’s Lossiemouth-based skipper Scott Milne fears he and his family could be facing ruin.

Mr Milne said: “I’m devastated – there has been very little information but apparently they fished a guy out of the harbour who is now helping police with their enquiries.

“We will not know the full extent of the damage until the insurance assessor inspects it – but hopefully it can be put right. There was no fire in the engine room so that is a bonus, if there is one to take from this.”

Mr Milne said that replacing the Tranquility “could cost us millions – we are speaking about £2.5million to replace it”. He praised fire fighters for working around the clock to save his boat, with the fire thought to have started in the net drums.

“We employ seven men – and that is seven families with young children and mortgages to pay who are out of work,” the skipper said, adding: “It could take as long as nine months to a year to rebuild the boat.”

Police said last night that a “positive line of inquiry” was being followed into the blaze, confirming that a man was in custody.