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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.


Relaxing of the Covid levels allowed the restart of many Sea Cadets activities. The instruction was by Sea Cadets Executive Officer (2nd in Command) Petty Officer (SCC) Sophie Kaszuba and supported in the water by Civilian Instructors David Dunbar and John Montgomery.

Everyone was having fun, inside and outside, our three harbours: kayaking, power-boating, paddle-boarding and sailing.

Photo by Kenny Maule

On Wed 5th May many sharp showers marched across the bay, displaying the phenomenon called virga; this photo shows clearly that these virga showers don’t reach the surface as they evaporate on the way down. It happens quite often in places like Denver, USA but not so often here.

In meteorology, a virga is an observable streak or shaft of precipitation falling from a cloud, evaporating (sublimating) before reaching the surface. 

Photo credit: Annie Strang.

The UK Coastguard called on Dunbar’s RNLI volunteers to join a search at about 4.35pm after a vessel was found unmanned, floating about a mile north-east of Torness. Both the all-weather (ALB) and inshore (ILB) lifeboats began extensive searches of the area at 5.05pm and were joined by colleagues from St Abbs, as well as the rescue helicopter and local fishing vessels. Mr. Gray had fallen overboard from his single-handed vessel, ‘St. Peter’, LH22. 

A spokesman for Dunbar Lifeboat said: “Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of the person involved. We would also like to thank the fishing vessels who helped enormously with the search operation.” The body of Peter Gray, whose family live locally, was located at about 6pm by the rescue helicopter, Rescue 199 from Prestwick. The crew of the ALB recovered his vessel and brought it to Dunbar Harbour, where police began conducting inquiries into the incident. 

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of Peter Gray and our whole fishing community at this very sad time. 

Photo credit: Kenny Maule

Beautiful photo by Chas Penny. Yellow scales, also called Shore Lichen, (Xanthoria parietina), are a lichen species characterized by lobed margins and a wrinkled centre. It is usually found where the air is filled with mineral salts, especially near the sea and on rocks and walls.

Without the health risks of air pollution, fresh air feels great for our lungs. Lichens love clean air too - in fact, their sensitivity to air pollution means they make great air quality indicators. Like small signposts, these curious organisms can tell us a lot about the air we are breathing --- Dunbar's air is exceptionally clean.



Photo above by Kris Bird, waves overtopping the North Wall during the recent, massive, northerly swells.

The beautifully-rough weather in early-April produced massive waves from the north. Outside the waves were 12'-high, in Victoria Harbour they were 4'-high and in Broadhaven they were 2'-high, enough to damage the wall near the slipway. Here is A.G. Thomson's men bricking the wall before it further deteriorates -- a small but important repair and it will happen again during further storms..

Photo by Kenny Maule

Dunbar’s RNLI crew was called out on Monday (April 19) evening to assist one of its own volunteers whose yacht suffered engine failure. Crew member Jamie Forrester and his friend and boat-owning partner were approaching Dunbar Harbour shortly before 6pm after an afternoon sail with their families, when the engine on their 26ft yacht Kerry Girl failed to respond. They sailed to a safe location to drop anchor but, when attempts to fix the problem failed, they called for help.

UK Coastguard tasked the crew at 6.15pm and they launched the inshore lifeboat (ILB) ten minutes later. They were quickly on scene, set up a tow, and guided the yacht into the harbour and safely to its mooring. The coastguard stood down the crew at 6.47pm. A spokesman for Dunbar RNLI said: “Even with a well-maintained engine, incidents can happen, but Jamie and his friend did the right thing by dropping anchor, making sure their yacht was in no immediate danger, and requesting help.” If you need assistance on the water call 999 and ask for UK Coastguard.

Crew: Alan Blair, Adrian Lavery, Nick Mailer, Douglas Wight

Short Video: Top five reasons for calling out the RNLI to boaters & how to avoid: https://youtu.be/gHLz4cqe1jg 

Robin Hamilton in his kilt -- this man definitely needs Christian Aid. On the 24th April, Rotary for Christian Aid, Robin, Myra, John and others, did a Kiltwalk, starting at the harbour, off to Belhaven and finishing back at the harbour, piped ‘doon the hill for the home stretch’ by Pipe Major David Laird.

Robin said: “I’m taking on a Kiltwalk to raise funds for a charity close to my heart which has inspired me to give something back. Every penny I raise will be topped up by 50% thanks to the generosity of Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation. Any donation you can spare will mean the world to me and my chosen charity. Thank you!”

Their target was £200 but they’re now passing £500. YOU also can donate: Just Giving link https://virtual.thekiltwalk.co.uk/fundraising/Robins-Dunbar-Kiltwalk

Photos courtesy of Robin.

The world's largest construction vessel passed worryingly-close to Dunbar recently. Called Pioneering Spirit, she is a crane ship, built in 2014, sailing under the flag of Malta. Her carrying capacity is 499,125 tonnes, current draught is 14 metres, length overall is 477 metres and width is 124 metres. Pioneering Spirit can sail under her own power at a high transit-speed, making her suitable for worldwide use. Operating on full dynamic positioning, she can work accurately in any water depth. Amazing beast and most-surprisingly, she's actually a catamaran!

Having rounded Land's End, transited the Channel and then the North Sea, Pioneering Spirit went on to complete a large-scale operation in the Firth of Forth. The vessel is owned by Allseas, a Swiss-based offshore contractor specialising in heavy lift. This job was transferring a topside drilling platform onto the Iron Lady barge in the Forth Estuary. The following morning she separated from the Iron Lady and the cargo barge was towed clear. The Pioneering Spirit immediately set off once more for Kristiansand, Norway --- a ship's work is never finished.

Photo above by Kenny Maule.

Sinead, a very young visitor from Haddington, lost her grip on her scooter on a windy day recently and it fell into the harbour. A teary plaintive request, “Ah dinnae ken whit happened, but ma scooter’s fell in. Can anyones find it?” After a subsequent search, we spotted two scooters submerged deep in the kelp but only one was pink. 

There are currently no fishing quotas on catching scooters so James Bisset quickly hooked and landed it. See photo above: “Gey drookit, smellin’ o’ diesel” and the scooter was a wee bit grubby too. After a rub down, dry out and lubrication, the scooter was as good as new. Sinead was ecstatic as she thought it had been lost for ever. She now visits our harbour more often but keeps a firm grip on her beloved scooter. Sinead sent a well-crafted thank-you cartoon. We all live and learn.

Photo by Kenny Maule.

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