'Scrap' trawler sinks in Brixham harbour
A TRAWLER destined for the scrapyard sank while moored in Brixham harbour in the middle of the night.
The Marie Claire was being towed from Newlyn in Cornwall to Exeter to be cut up as scrap metal but ended up at the bottom of the harbour while on a night stopover in South Devon.
It is understood that the 27-metre wooden beam trawler was one of two being towed hundreds of miles but the other boat had already sunk mid journey.
A Brixham trawlerman, who witnessed the Marie Claire going down, said it had happened at 1.30am on Friday as his own boat was landing into port.
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He said: "We were just coming in to land. I could see the Marie Claire was listing a lot. We moved closer to land and as we started unloading it just went over."
The fisherman said he informed the coastguards of the incident and the harbourmaster's office was also alerted.
The Marie Claire was tied to what is known as the ice quay at the end of the new fish market when it just sank.
No-one was on board at the time.
Paul Labistour, harbourmaster, said the Newlyn owner of the boat had been informed and had driven up to Brixham to see how best to salvage the boat.
Mr Labistour said: "It will be salvaged and then go to the scrapyard in Exeter. It will stay like that until then.
"It doesn't pose any danger to navigation and there is no risk of pollution because it was cleaned of its diesel.
"We put up a pollution boon around the boat to prevent any residual oil from leaking into the harbour. It is more as a precaution."
The Marie Claire is understood to be an old trawler which started its life in Brixham before being bought out by new Cornish owners several years ago.
The sinking of the Marie Claire happened three days after the Sarah Jayne sprat boat also sank six miles east off Berry Head with the tragic loss of its skipper and owner Geoff Ingram.