View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


I often relay stories of rescues out at sea, or in distant mountain ranges. Those of you who used to read the predecessor to this blog, Northern Trip, may remember the day that there was a rescue just yards from my position. Literally.

1 July 2006
Just as we're having lunch, the sound of the helicopter becomes noticeable. The helicopter is right outside the house, hovering over the basin. Hotel Lima is tending to a yachtsman that we noticed earlier, struggling to control his boat in the force 6 winds. His boat lies overturned, and a winchman is going down to assist the hapless sailor. Newton Street very quickly fills up with spectators, the police are in attendance, directing traffic and all who are outside are drenched by the water which the helicopter's updraft is spraying around. The yachtsman manages to make dry land under his own steam - his own two legs. Meanwhile, the wrecked boat lies on its side in the basin, and slowly drifts towards its mouth. The lifeboat moves to the mouth of the basin and launches a dinghy. There is a sandbar across the basin, which makes it impossible for boats to leave it at low tide, and the tide is falling right now. The wreck is towed to Goat Island, where the damage is assessed. The boat is not holed, so it's left anchored on a mooring.

More pictures here.

Wednesday 8 April

I thought it was going to be a nice day, but that was before the showers started. Hey ho, it's only April.

It is reported that 97% of all emails are now unwanted and unsolicited spam. Worldwide, 86 out of every 10,000 computers is infected with malware and potentially part of a so-called botnet. There is no reason to panic - one very good prevention is to keep the software up-to-date.

In L'Aquila, the scene of Monday's earthquake, 15 people are still missing. I cannot find an up-to-date casualty toll (247 at 7 am this morning). The devastation is severe, and it is said that L'Aquila will not be able to function properly for some time.

Down in London, evidence has emerged that a man who died during last week's G20 protests was allegedly pushed over by a police officer. After remonstrating with officers whilst on the ground, he walked away and collapsed with a heart attack. He was going home after a day's work, selling newspapers. This is now subject to an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and calls are going out for a criminal investigation.