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.


Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Most of you know Bob Clunas well, for several years he was harbourmaster here and then retired to Helmsdale.

On June 4th, after much work fettling his 'new' boat, it was launch day for this nearly-finished winter project. Some work still to do: engine box to make, diesel tank and ballast to fit. The 20' boat, now about thirty-five years old, was not making any water on her 'maiden' voyage, a testament to her builder Peter Matheson. With her lug sail, made by Leitch of Tarbert, she'll be easy to handle and Bob will use her for pleasure and a bit of handline fishing. 

A nice video: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=bob%20clunas

Photos from Bob's fb page. Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: sail up, rarin' to go.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Fresh from her recent rescue the unpowered, star-crossed Sally Belle was towing from Victoria Harbour into Broadhaven for some work on her undersides whilst awaiting spare parts. Work completed her owner decided on June 24th. to return to Sally Belle's temporary berth under the castle.

To save blushes various, we won't give all the details but she ended up on Broadhaven's rocks on an ebbing(!) tide. As she 'lay down', fortunately her tall and substantial mast avoided the nearby houses. There she lay until the next high tide at 6am the following morning. A quick hoik and tow and she was 'home' at her berth; a short but exciting, unpowered voyage.

Now when are those spare parts arriving?

Photos by Kenny Maule.  Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: half-afloat.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Nol receiving his RNLI Bravery award

 Interview with the intrepid Nol       

  • Nol, you’re a Dunbar man, born and bred? Aye, I was born in Room #3, The Lothian Hotel.
  • Was your family originally Italian? Yes, from Tuscany, Italy; came in the early-1900s.
  • And school? Left school at fifteen but I’d already been working for my dad in the hotel since the age of ten. Worked all my life and never a dull day, well, maybe one or two
  • And teenage years? Always in the old outdoor swimming pool, whistle round my neck, in charge of the wee boats then later as a lifeguard.
  • Note: "Nol Togneri received the RNLI Bravery award in the 1960s after saving a girl at sea, keeping her afloat until the lifeboat attended to rescue them as they were drifting out to sea. These awards are usually reserved only for RNLI crew, risking their lives at sea."
  • This video shows how Noll developed the skills needed for confidence in the water:-
  • https://www.facebook.com/paul.togneri.1/videos/10206005929422715/UzpfSTE2OTUyMTEyMDc6MTAyMDY5NDQ2NDczMzAwNzY/
  • So the old pool at Bayswell, was really ‘Baywatch’? We all remember those beauty competitions. The pool was packed in summertime.
  • Did you ever go off the high diving-board? Aye, an’ once I broke the springboard on the way doon.
  • You’re always barefoot, why’s that? Do not like wearing shoes!
  • Where did you work after the Lothian Hotel? Oh, every smart hotel, The Marine in Troon, Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Caledonian Hotel….
  • So, the start of a 5-star career? Aye, but sometimes catering’s a demanding life.
  • Have you worked overseas? Did an apprenticeship in Paris, in Fouquet's Brasserie, an historic restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. “Une table pour deux, monsieur?”
  • Did you work in catering all your life? No, I worked as a steel erector on the 300ft tower at Blackcastle, Innerwick, logging crew in the Borders, salmon fishing at Goswick, then Eves Taxis and buses.
  • Everyone’s seen you kayaking off and away, or disappearing in your powerboat. Where do you go? Across the bay to the Tyninghame estuary for a few camping nights, or to the Bass Rock. Tyninghame estuary has changed a lot with the sand channel shifting, very tricky now.
  • Where was your furthest kayak trip? May Isle with Doc Ballantyne.
  • She’s a nice motorboat, your “Wildfire”. When and where did you start with boats? Age of 10, first kayak. Father had a speedboat; he started a Waterski Club. Then a 20ft Cabin Cruiser for 30 years, many expeditions with the family. 20 years on the Lifeboat Crew. Is that enough?
  • Your son Paul also uses ‘Wildfire’.  Does he listen to his dad’s safety advice?  Aye, or he’ll get a clip roon his lugs if he disnae.
  • What’s your best advice to youngsters starting in boats? **Safety First** radio, lifejackets, flares, anchor. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return.

Photo 1, Nol receiving his RNLI Bravery award from Princess Margaret. 

Photo 2, Nol dives off the Gripes; not recommended nowadays, even for fit, young men.

Click <<READ MORE>> below for photo 2

User Rating: 4 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Inactive










Ewan and Fiona are a couple with a love of history and have plans to change the old Methodist Church's use but retain its historic significance. As you will probably know, it's the oldest Methodist Church in Scotland, dating back to 1764. Ewan is an architect, Fiona a former Health and Social Care lecturer, and both have a close interest in regeneration and in Dunbar in particular.

They intend using the space as a venue for small events, intimate weddings and celebrations for up to 100 people, less than the current capacity of 240. Their Planning Application shows restoration of the church to maintain all the original features. They intend using local trades people for the work, which will include a new heating system and significant roof repairs and even a film of the restoration. One of the more costly jobs will be the restoration of the stained glass windows, originally from St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, using a specialist church-restoration company who will take out the windows, refurbish and replace them. This will allow viewers to fully appreciate these windows from outside and in. The building will then be re-named ‘The Harbour Chapel’.

Photos from Fiona's archive.

Photo 1: outside of the 'Harbour Chapel'.

Photo 2: Click <<READ MORE>> below for internal view.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

On Tuesday June 16th, Dunbar’s Offshore lifeboat (ALB) crew had a late-night call out in thick fog to assist a broken-down yacht drifting in the North Sea. The Coastguard paged for RNLI help at 11.20pm after receiving a call that the 12-metre Sally Belle yacht was stranded without power 22 miles east of Torness, having suffered a cylinder-head gasket failure and no wind on this calm and foggy night.

The ALB launched from Torness and reached the vessel shortly before 1am. A tow was quickly set up and the crew made their way back to Dunbar Harbour, taking special care in poor visibility. ALB and yacht arrived back at the harbour at 5am and, after guiding the yacht to a safe berth in our Victoria Harbour, Gary Fairbairn, coxswain for Dunbar’s ALB, said: “Given the fog conditions we couldn’t take any chances but we succeeded in towing the yacht to safety without incident.”

Much more on the star-crossed Sally Belle later in this newsletter!

Photo 1 by Nick Mailer, a yacht sandwiched 'twixt 2 ALBs.

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2 of Sally Belle at her temporary berth, by Kenny Maule

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive












It all happened so very quickly starting at 11.40am on 30th May. 

Dunbar Coastguard, two Inshores (ILB) and an Offshore (ALB) plus a helicopter were tasked this morning to a small pleasure-craft near to Dunbar harbour. The vessel, with a three-man crew aboard, had suffered engine failure 200 metres northeast of the entrance to Dunbar Harbour and had begun to drift towards the rocks. What had started as a routine call-out to help a small craft quickly became a multi-agency emergency.

First, the Dunbar ILB suffered a mechanical issue soon after launching was no longer able to assist, and dropped the anchor, however a fantastic effort was made by two nearby sea-kayakers who rushed to the pleasure-craft, gave assistance and managed to pull it away from the rocks. This was a remarkable effort by them, not easy in kayaks, and undoubtedly prevented any escalation of the incident.

Dunbar’s ALB was quickly activated from Torness and North Berwick’s ILB was also called. A land ambulance attended the incident as a precaution along with 4 fire engines as the ILB had suffered a suspected engine fire.

Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 151 from Inverness, which was already airborne for a different call-out, attended the scene and circled many times just off the Battery, much to the unexpected entertainment of watching adults and children.

All parties were brought safely into Dunbar Harbour without further incident.

Quote from the RNLI: “All the agencies worked together to ensure things didn’t get out of hand.”  Note: If you see someone in difficulty, or something you are concerned about on the shoreline, beaches, cliffs, mud or water, then call 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.

Photo1: the kayakers (Gavin Ross and his pal) 

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo 2: the ALB.    Both photos by Kenny Maule

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Quiz:  Where is this rainy spot around the harbour?    

How did he take it? --- with a Sony A6000, slow exposure; photo credit David Drummond. Nice shot, David.

Click <<READ MORE>> for the red spot that shows the quiz answer.

Please note that anyone can send in a harbour article, preferably with photos.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

“It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the Sparkling Dunbar Harbour Festival due to be held on Sat 15th August 2020. However, we are delighted to announce that 2021 will see the 10th Anniversary of this fabulous annual event. We look forward to bringing you some surprises next year to celebrate a decade of fun.  A spectacular event t’will be, me hearties!”

Photo by Fraser Stewart. 


Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

John Sim - Director (photo1).  John is a retired Oil-industry Engineering Manager, married with two daughters and five grandchildren. A qualified Electrical Engineer supported with a Business Degree, he and his wife Madeleine relocated to Dunbar from Edinburgh in October 2019 after having spent 42 years working and living overseas in countries as diverse as Uruguay, Italy, France, USA, Egypt, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Angola, Gabon, South Korea, Singapore and India. He has always been associated with the sea since serving in the Royal Navy from 1963 to 1974.  Thereafter, he worked in the international offshore Oil and Gas industry from 1974 to 2016 managing both mobile offshore drilling units (MODU’s) and fixed offshore oil and gas installations.

Paddy Crerar CBE - Director (photo2). Paddy has been an active harbour user in Dunbar for 20 years. He is Chair of Crerar Hotels, and he and his wife farm outside Stenton. Paddy works in community related projects as a non-executive Director of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He is also patron of Scotland’s most supported hospitality charity.

A very warm welcome to both.      Click <<READ MORE>> for a photo of Paddy

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

 Our empty harbour: "Now where’s the other end?” --- photo by Kenny Maule

Harbour Trust figures for 2019/20 financial year.

  1. Public mooring income - UP 8%.

  2. Fishing mooring income - DOWN 1%….a reflection of the change in mix to smaller boats.

  3. Fishing Landings - UP 2%…. 2019/20 was a record year for Dunbar.

  4. Launchings - UP 8%….but still down on earlier years…indicating that we still may not be catching everyone.

  5. Retail outlets  - UP 66 %.

  6. Visitor moorings - DOWN 67%.

Mooring charge credits:  The Harbour Trust is very grateful to those who have written in to say that they will leave their credit balances to be offset against next year’s mooring charges. Everyone is entitled to have a credit balance refunded to them and, if this is your wish, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the details of the bank account into which the refund will be paid.

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404