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




The skipper of fishing vessel Artemis (FR 809) sufered severe head injuries and died after he fell head-first through an access hatch. The vessel was berthed alongside in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland and he had just returned from an afternoon ashore with one of his deckhands. Both had spent 3 hours in a local public house drinking alcohol.

It was not possible to determine whether he slipped, tripped or stumbled before he fell as there was no witness. MAIB accident statistics indicate that, since 1992, alcohol was a contributing factor in 62% of the 42 fishing vessel fatalities that have occurred while in port.

Safety lessons 

  • Artemis was in port and its skipper and deckhand were not undertaking any work activities when the accident happened. Excessive alcohol consumption will severely undermine an individual’s judgment and coordination. 
  • Post-build modifcations to the access route between the vessel’s wheelhouse and the mess deck increased the likelihood and consequences of someone falling through the mess deck hatch’s unguarded opening. The hatch required a physical barrier to prevent personnel inadvertently falling through the opening.

Full Marine Accident Investigation report on www.gov.uk/maib

Photo from the full report

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Photo 1  our FIRST kittiwake (magnifying glass out, can you spot it?) taking up residence on 24th February.

There will be hundreds on Dunbar Castle during spring and summer! The Kittiwake is a delicate and dainty seabird whose name resembles its calls. Can you hear them squawking “Ki-i-i-ti-wa-a-ke”? 

  • Food: Small fish, especially sandeels; the kittiwakes follow our fishing boats.
  • Nest site: On our castle walls or over-hanging rock faces. Their nests are mud, grass or seaweed, on impossibly-small ledges.
  • Breeding: Mid May to mid June, 2 eggs. The young birds depart in August to live off Greenland Coast then return to Dunbar after 2 years.
  • Wintering: Adults spend winter over the North Atlantic, as far as Canada, however some fly south.

An old Dunbar saying: Kittiwakes should return by the 16th March for Dunbar's ‘happy and prosperous summer’.

Photo above by Quentin Dimmer 

Click <<READ MORE>> for photo #2 (by Kenny Maule, during breeding, last summer)

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


Work has now been postponed on the Maggie project due to Covid 19, however the latest information is:

Due to site levels, the number of stores has reduced to 5x single units to fit the site constraints, but this will have no impact on available units to let to fishermen. There will be 3x lettable units and 1x garage for the fishermens' forklift. The final unit will be for Harbourmaster use.

Work had started on-site with AG Thomson working on the foundations and slab. A concrete access ramp will eventually follow when possible and then the timber kit.

Photo by Kenny Maule

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The fish-merchants have mainly stopped buying as demand has stopped from wholesalers: initially for one month, so few landings are expected between now and the end of April at least.

A report from last week:-- https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/18/coronavirus-severe-shock-to-uk-fishing-as-markets-dry-up

However some good-ish news, just come in:--

Dear Members,  For those of you who haven’t seen it, Fergus Ewing has announced £5m financial support for the in-shore fishermen   https://www.gov.scot/news/support-for-seafood-fishing-industry/    It will be administered through Marine Scotland via a letter to all qualified vessel owners and associations. Initial payment of 50% average of two months’ salary (based on 2019 average earnings).There is an email address if any queries.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Keep safe everyone.
Ros Rosalind McArthur, EMFF Programme Coordinator, Forth FLAG

Here above is a photo from happier times. Sea Breeze, a beautiful boat, colour and proportions.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


A rescue helicopter and coastguards were called on the evening of Wednesday 18th March and set about conducting a search in the Canty Bay area. Dunbar Coastguard, North Berwick Coastguard, Senior Coastal Operations Officer S04B, Helicopter 199 (from Prestwick) and North Berwick Lifeboat were in attendance. North Berwick Coastguard said: "Following extensive searches and having completed our tasking, all coastal resources stood down shortly after 9pm. Remember, if you see someone or something you are concerned about on the shoreline, cliffs, mud or water, call 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard. If in doubt, call!"

Photo 1 is the search pattern, the helicopter's lights were clearly visible from Dunbar. 

Both photos from https://www.marinetraffic.com

Click <<READ MORE>> to see Photo 2: SAR helicopter 

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

You have already received our Covid 19 statement a few days ago. Here is a photo of our main harbour as never before seen -- empty of boats and people. No-one knows what the future holds for the harbour but, rest assured, we’ll update you as soon as possible. Meanwhile keep yourself safe!

----------- Fishing Boats----------------
The Harbour Trust is very sensitive to the financial pressures that all of our harbour users are being put under at the moment. Consideration was given to the fishing boats in the harbour in these difficult times. Fortunately there is Government funding to help the commercial boat owners, which is obviously not available to our leisure users, and the case for granting the fishing boats a mooring concession will be revisited if, for any reason, the government funding is not forthcoming. In the meantime the Harbour Trust has agreed to grant extended credit terms to any commercial user who needs to take advantage of these terms.
  1. We would appreciate it if fishermen would tell us IN ADVANCE if they wish to extend normal payment terms. (We are quite approachable!)
  2. It will be appreciated if we could have a proposed payment plan
  3. We would expect fuel to be paid for within 14 days once everyone is back to work
We hope that this will ease some of the strain on cash resources. In the meantime, keep safe, and let’s hope it is not too long before the boats can get out to sea again.
----------- Leisure Boats----------------

Payments:  “The Harbour Trust remains very grateful for the financial support it continues to receive from all harbour users, but recognises that some people will be very hard-hit financially as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Trust has agreed a reduction in mooring fees of 50%, with the following requirements:- The fee is paid by the due date of 31st March, there are no further refunds irrespective of the future status of restrictions throughout the sailing season and any hard-standing charges are paid in full."

Photos by Kenny Maule

Click <<READ MORE>> to see what a busy harbour should look like!

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

STATEMENT ON COVID-19 FROM Monday 23rd March 2020

Dunbar Harbour is now closed to all non-essential vessels and all leisure activities.

Dunbar Harbour will remain open for all essential marine traffic and as a port of refuge.

Essential traffic includes fishing and commercial vessels, lifeboats and other emergency vehicles.

All visiting vessels entering Harbour limits must contact the Harbour Master on 07958 754858 or Deputy Harbour Master 07583 463991

Planned shore-based visits to the harbour should be cancelled, including the parking of campervans or motorhomes, except in relation to essential traffic, above. Visits to the various attractions/sites are not allowed, as is using the harbour for shore-based activities such as fishing, scuba diving, kayaking or paddleboarding.

Please note that current government guidelines apply to the harbour and Dunbar Harbour Trust kindly request that people consider others and follow the guidance.

If in doubt that your activity is not allowed or you require further advice, please contact the Dunbar Harbour Master or Deputy Harbour Master on the numbers provided above.

A Notice to Mariners will be issued shortly.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

On Saturday 22nd February a seal pup was spotted on the slipway to Broadhaven. It’s a grey or common seal pup, difficult to tell at that age, but its mum seems to like our slipway. This happens every few years.

An SSPCA officer collected the pup. When we see it again we hope it will be swimming!

Photo by Eric Robertson.

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

The Dunbar Harbour Trust is delighted to support Dunbar Rotary who are visiting all schools in Dunbar Area in the next 2 weeks with the Purple Pinkie campaign* to End Polio Now. The Dunbar Battery will be purple until the end of Feb.!

In 1985, there were 350,000 case of polio in 125 countries worldwide! Now this has been reduced to just over 100 in total in Pakistan and Afghanistan following a huge immunisation programme involving WHO, UNESCO, Bill Gates and Rotary.

Find out more at; http://purplepinkie.com

Photo and electrics: thanks to John Band, aided by several Trust Directors

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

"Our recently-elected MP, Kenny MacAskill, requested to visit Dunbar to learn more about the harbour from the Trust Directors. He was welcomed to McArthurs Store and briefed on current events and future priorities including, in these uncertain times, the sourcing of grant monies to protect Dunbar’s sea walls. Many thanks, Kenny, for your early visit!"

Photo courtesy of the DHT

Have any questions? Give us a call 01368 865 404