Charter boss hopes to have Lothian anglers sailing soon

Charter boss Derek Anderson is going deep sea in order to pay bills as the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world.

By Nigel Duncan
Saturday, 25th April 2020, 7:30 am
Sagittarius (left) and Oceanic moored in Eyemouth Harbour.
Sagittarius (left) and Oceanic moored in Eyemouth Harbour.

The owner of popular Borders-based Aquamarine Charters – who take divers and anglers to sites off the Berwickshire coast – has joined a cable clearance ship at Dundee.

He’s at sea for around three weeks while his two boats – Sagittarius and Oceanic – sit in the harbour at Eyemouth.

Anderson has been forced to cancel all trips until June 6 but bills keep arriving, including insurance.

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Thankfully, harbour dues have been frozen during the pandemic but Anderson said that they cost around £4,000 a year and there are other costs to consider.

The 58-year-old is self-employed and said: “I’m a sole-trader and am unlikely to get anything from the Government during this lockdown.

“Hopefully, we can set sail again with anglers and divers on June 6 but, to keep money coming in, I’m using my Maritime and Coastguard Agency Masters 200 qualification.

“I’m going on board a 90-metre vessel and am working for the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation.

“My job is to act as liaison officer and to ensure that cable laying in the Moray Firth is not affected by fishing boats.”

Meanwhile, Phil Dixon, organiser of the Scierra Pairs, one of Britain’s top fly fishing competitions, has confirmed that he still hopes to complete the competition this summer.

Several rounds have been held including one at Stenhouse near Burntisland but two were due to be held at Raith Lakes in Kirkcaldy last weekend and, tomorrow, another was due at Lake of Menteith near Stirling. They are postponed.

Two heats at Harelaw at Neilston near Glasgow are due on Saturday, May 30 and 31 with another on Sunday, June 28 at Black Loch at Limerigg near Falkirk.

The final Scottish heat is at Glencorse Reservoir near Flotterstone on Sunday, July 19 and the Grand Final is at Lynn Brenig in Wales on Sunday, August 30.

Finally, the Water of Leith Conservation Trust have received a Tweet from an anonymous witness.

It said: “Been a spate of people fishing at Cannonmills recently. Shouted and told them the Water of Leith was shut, ignored. Don't know what else can be done.”

City of Edinburgh Council have closed the river and an official said that if passers-by see people fishing they should phone 101 and report it to police.