Skipper describes dramatic fight against gales –

Skipper describes dramatic fight against gales Published:  13 October, 2009

AN Icelandic trawler skipper has dramatically described trying to operate in some of the worst weather conditions to hit the region for many years.

A deep depression has brought unprecedented strong winds which has halted fishing operations around Iceland which has had a knock-on effect on cod and haddock supplies to the UK, leading to high prices.

Hull fish market had no auction yesterday and Grimsby managed just 900 boxes, but normal supplies and business resumed at both markets this morning.

Gunnar Einarsson, captain of the HB Grandi trawler Sturlaugur H. Bödvarsson AK, said : ‘I can say that we’ve taken something of a beating on the way home. The weather was terrible and we took it slowly.’

The trawler had already had its problems with a winch defect after only 24 hours on the fishing grounds, forcing Gunnar Einarsson to seek port for repairs.

He went on: ‘When when the breakdown occurred, we had shifted further north to the be under the Eldey Bank, and after that we had to set a course for Akranes.

‘Then came wind speeds gusting up to 30 metres per second, but we didn’t have any problems with wave height. He added that all of the vessels that were fishing on southern grounds sought shelter towards the coast to wait for the weather to die away.

‘This was one of the sharpest autumn depressions I’ve seen.’