- TWO SAVED
A transcript from the front page
of the "HERALD EXPRESS" local Torbay paper 26/10/83
BRIXHAM trawler crashed into a naval ship just off shore today as
thick fog reduced visibility to 100 yards.
the water-tight bulkhead inside the bows of the 52ft wooden side trawler,
the Esther Colleen stopped it sinking with its two fishermen onboard.
boat was on its way out of Brixham for a day's fishing when it smashed
into the frigate, Ambuscade, Which was
anchored only a few hundred yards out to sea off the Brixham breakwater
crash led to an angry reaction from Mr. Bob Curtis, the Brixham pilot,
who claimed the frigate was anchored in a daft place."
Curtis said: "When trawlers go out round the breakwater they
turn for Berry Head, he should have anchored in the middle of the
bay. These are no rules or regulations, but I would have thought commonsense
would have prevailed. You do not park in somebody's driveway."
collision severely damaged the bows of the trawler, which started
taking in water.
Ambuscade alerted The Brixham coastguards who made direct contact
with the Esther Colleen.
skipper, Mr. Ian Bagwell, and crew, Mr. John Bosley, reported there
was no immediate danger. Another Brixham-based trawler, the Livine,
went alongside and towed the stricken fishing vessel back into Brixham.
A Brixham Coastguard official said: "they just did not see the
warship in the fog and hit her. It was as simple as that. They were
extremely fortunate that the water-tight- bulkhead held. It would
have sunk otherwise."
limping into Brixham harbour, courtesy of the Livine which is skippered
by Mr. Malcolm Cooke, the Esther Colleen was beached.
local salvage expert, Mr. Tony Ridd, put a pump on board and started
removing the vast amount of water the vessel had taken in.
Bagwell, whose father Stan Bagwell of Exmouth, is understood to own
the boat, was waiting for the tide to go out before the full extent
of damaged could be established.
Royal Navy in Plymouth said that the Plymouth based type 21 frigate
suffered only superficial paint damage after being struck amidships.
added: "I do not know exactly where she was parked so I could
not comment. What Mr. Curtis is saying is only a matter of opinion.
All we know is that there was thick fog."