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Rescue From The Rocks


We had abandoned ship after running aground on Robbers Rock but our rescue came quickly from the people at Crispie Bay.

The weight of ourselves plus our baggage meant that the dingy was slow in the water. It was difficult to row because I hadn’t managed to sit down straight and then once everything was in the dingy I couldn’t move. Chris took over the rowing and with nothing to do but sit in my squashed position, the consequences of what had happened began to dawn on me.


When we saw rescue coming we were mightily relieved. Another boat was coming toward us. We gratefully accepted the offer of a tow from the crew who took us to the small jetty on Crispie Bay. I was stiff after being cramped in the little dingy. I found it difficult to climb onto the jetty and almost fell. The quick actions of my husband who pulled me backward saved me from falling into the water. I had a brief recollection of treading water in my nightie for my bronze swimmers award.( Long years ago). Which, at that moment seemed a woefully inadequate lifesaving drill. I made it up onto the jetty on the second attempt.

A short while later we saw Golden View making her way toward us. She was coming from Tarbert. At the same time, we noticed the Tignabruaich lifeboat approaching. Our rescuers delivered Chris to the lifeboat and me to Golden View.

With the shock of leaving Shemaron so quickly we couldn’t remember if we had turned the electrics off. Chris went back across on the lifeboat to check, he had, however, turned everything off before we abandoned ship. The lifeboat crew discussed damage limitations with us and offered advice. Once they were sure that we were safe they left.

Heavy Heart

I could now see that Shemaron was leaning at an alarming angle. My heart was heavy as I climbed onto Golden View and my eyes were brimming as I stepped into the open arms of our friends. Shemaron had tipped further towards the sea which was by then lapping around her gunnels. The thought that she might be about to sink filled me with dread and the fact that I might have to watch it happen made things so much worse.

Golden View’s skipper that day was Tony Barker he went on board Shemaron one more time. When he came back he reported that water was flowing in and debris was floating in the fish hold and fo’c’sle.



The effort we have pushed into the Shemaron project was such that even with her sudden possible demise the momentum continued to carry us forward. My mind raced ahead to plans we were laying down for her future and ricocheted back to the present. Unconsidered possibilities began to warp our planned framework for renovation.

We stood for what seemed like hours just watching. There was a loud crashing and Shemaron shuddered further towards the sea. Mercifully as the tide fell we could see that she had become wedged in the rocks. We eventually left her and made plans to return that night with the next high tide.

Shemaron ran aground three times during her fishing career. Almost unbelievably in 1950 the year after she was built she ran ashore on a rock just 200 yards from Robbers Rock. Billy Sloan was at the wheel. Shemaron had already had the experience of a similar precarious circumstance, this would hold her in good stead for the night ahead.

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”

― Theodore Roosevelt


To be cont …

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