Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II, gave praise to the work of the Fishermen’s Mission recently in a letter to charity Chief Executive Commodore David Dickens, CBE, RN.
It has been a busy winter for The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, with severe weather conditions resulting in many of Scotland’s fishers not earning a wage since December 2013.
In her letter, Her Majesty, who is a Patron of the Fishermen’s Mission, wrote: “Please pass on my warm thanks to all concerned at The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen (The Fishermen’s Mission) for their message regarding the recent severe weather conditions and the consequences for the country’s Fishermen.
“As your Patron, I was pleased to learn of the Mission’s efforts to support those Fishermen and their families whose livelihoods have been affected by the storms.
“I appreciate your thoughtfulness in writing as you did and, in return, send my best wishes to you all at this difficult time.”
On the islands, the winter months have seen Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission Superintendent Finlay Macleod come to the aid of stricken and stranded fishermen and seafarers, both local and visiting.
On January 24th, Finlay was called into action after the Chief Stewardess of a Norwegian supply ship was air-lifted from the vessel with a nasty shoulder injury, caused when she fell as the boat – ‘Troms Castor’ – was hit by a huge lump of water during extreme storms.
Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission attended to the 45 year old Stewardess whilst receiving treatment in Western Isles Hospital, before organising hotel accommodation and arranging repatriation to her Oslo home.
In February Stornoway’s Port Missioner supported a 35 year old Spanish fisherman, who had been airlifted to Western Isles Hospital after sustaining an eye injury aboard the fishing boat ‘Ayr Queen’. Finlay stayed with the fisherman – who spoke no English – until he was transferred to Raigmore, requiring specialist surgery.
And most recently both Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission and their Agent in South Uist, Angus Campbell Kilbride Shellfish Ltd, supported the crews of two fishing boats which sank in Akersaig Mhor harbour, Eriskay, South Uist.
To find out more about the work of The Fishermen’s Mission, visit www.fishermensmission.org.uk