Young Scottish Skipper braves cold North sea Published: 15 August, 2008
A YOUNG Scottish skipper told yesterday how he dived into the cold North Sea at night in a vain attempt to save a crewman.Charles Bruce, 23 battled through the choppy waters 50 miles off Wick after a Filipino crewmate fell overboard from the Fraserburgh-registered New Dawn.
He managed to grab him but they were separated by a large wave.
Mr Bruce was airlifted by a rescue helicopter to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary suffering from hypothermia. He was later released from hospital after treatment.
He said he acted on instinct to try to save his crewmate and friend.
Mr Bruce said he feared for his own life before the crew managed to haul him back on board.
‘I thought that was me,” he said. I had lost all my energy, I was in for quite a while and I couldn’t shout.
‘The waves were coming over the top of head and I can’t remember much after that apart from landing on the deck. I was numb for hours.’
The fisherman lost overboard was yesterday named as Reynaldo Benitez, 29, a father of two, from the Philippines who had been based in Fraserburgh for two years.
Last night, all hope of finding him alive was abandoned and the people of the Fraserburgh were again united in grief, mourning the death of the fourth foreign fisherman based in the port in less than a fortnight.
Two Fillipinos and a Latvian died in a blaze on board a trawler in the town’s harbour earlier this month.
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