Andrew salvages boat for shellfish reasons
JUST few months ago she was earmarked for the scrapyard.
But now, following a six-month marine makeover, a 52-year-old Danish fishing vessel has become the latest addition to Bridlington's shellfishing fleet.
Andrew Cruddas spotted the wooden-built seine netter while on a visit to friends in Haustholm, on the west coast of Jutland.
The Bridlington fisherman, who already operates two Danish vessels out of his home port, bought the boat and sailed her back across the North Sea to begin the £120,000 refurbishment.
He said: "When I first saw her, I thought about buying the engine for spares for my other boats but then I realised she had really nice lines. I wasn't convinced she could be made seaworthy again. She was in such a poor condition.
"There wasn't much left of her, apart from the engine and fuel tanks. Everything had to come out and be renewed so it's been a huge task to get her back into good shape".
Despite national media lamenting an ever-increasing decline in the fishing industry, today Bridlington is the country's largest shellfishing port with a lucrative multi-million pound export market.
About 90 per cent of shellfish landed at the port is exported live to the continental markets of France and Spain.
Vessel owners and skippers in the town turned their back on cod almost two decades ago to diversify into shellfish and last year Bridlington's total landings netted £5.7m – up from £5.1m in 2010 and £4.8m in 2009.
The majority of this – £5.6m – came from shellfish, with lobster accounting for £3.52m of the catch.
The Bridlington shell fishing fleet now consists of 45 commercial fishing vessels working over lobster pots in peak season, which is between June and October.
Mr Cruddas, 41, has been taking to the waves since he was 14 years old. He started skipping school, and has been going to sea ever since.
This week, the vessel which has been renamed Stormy C – was christened with champagne by Mr Crudass's mother, Vivien Cruddas.
The boat was then hoisted into Bridlington harbour where she will spend the next month or two undergoing trials and further survey work before joining the East Coast port's crab and lobster fleet.