View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Overboard - update

Jozef Foliant, aged 49, has been named as the man who died after falling overboard from the Hebrides ferry at Uig, Skye, last night. Mr Foliant, a Dutch national resident in Aberdeen, was reported to have been in an argument from the moment he arrived at the ferry terminal in Tarbert as well as right the way across to Skye up until the moment he went into the water. When passengers reported Mr Foliant going into the water, the ferry went hard around and launched her rescue boat. He was rescued 15 minutes later, but died. Northern Constabulary have stated that there were no suspicious circumstances. Police interviewed witnesses on board the ferry until 9.30pm last night, after which the Hebrides completed the final sailing of the day, to Lochmaddy in North Uist.

I would like to extend my sympathies to Mr Foliant's relatives and friends at this very sad time.

Thursday 12 August

After a cloudy and wet start, the afternoon has brightened up, although the sun is still at a premium. Following the advent of brightness, at around 3pm, it has grown a little warmer. The mercury at the airport rose from 12C to 15C since midday.

On matters astronomical, the Perseid meteor shower is set to peak tonight - which should make a nice display, with up to 100 meteors (or shooting stars) visible per minute. Let's hope the cloud disappears in time for darkness, around 11pm tonight at my latitude.

Still on matters astronomical, we're having a springtide today. Following a high tide at 5.3m (17 ft 8 in) at 9.19pm tonight, the ebbtide will flow at just 0.1m (4 in) at 3.57 am tomorrow morning. Large springtides tend to occur a month before the equinox, which is of course only 6 weeks away now. The weather is calm, in terms of wind, so out here, no major problems are expected. Please note that the graph (linked to in the first line of this paragraph) will only show the tides from the moment you view them. This entry was posted on August 12th.

Today is the Glorious Twelfth, meaning that lots of people in tweed or camouflage jackets will be roaming the hills and moors of this island blasting their guns at grouse. I once had the pleasure of cycling along a public road, with hunters in an adjacent field taking potshots at pheasant flying overhead. One of the birds was hit, and as it crashed to earth, it nearly landed on my head.