‘Busking’ ship missing

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A VESSEL which begged more questions than it answered when it visited Montrose on April 9 has been posted missing in the North Sea.

The Warnow (pictured), believed to be a converted steel-hulled pilot boat, with added mast and sails, had turned up in the Port of Montrose with no warning.

It had a black hull and a white cabin. A black plate at the foot of her mast bore a skull and crossbones, The mast also carried the lettering ‘Warnow Ship Repair’.

Although there was no port of registration painted on the hull, it is believed that the Warnow is Dutch-flagged, with Rotterdam as her home port.

It appeared to have a mixed crew of at least three, two males and a female, estimated to be in their 30s or 40s.

They moored as shown in the photograph and went into town, not realising that that part of the port was tidal and that they would be high and dry.

One of the crew joked with our shipping correspondent, John Aitken, that it wasn’t easy cooking their tea at an angle.

They had travelled from Middlesbrough up the east coast to Montrose, in less than favourable conditions.

The crew are believed to have busked in the street in Montrose to earn cash for their continuing voyage, and one report says that they also played in a town pub.

They left Montrose the following day, April 10, and had intended to visit Johnshaven but were advised by Coastguards not to attempt it on the prevailing time.

So instead they headed for Stonehaven, repeating their busking exercise to pay harbour dues.

The crew had told Mr Aitken that their next destination was Norway, although there seemed to be some dissent from those who had suffered from the rather choppy passage up the coast.

Mr Aitken told the Review that he was less than impressed by the navigation equipment he saw on board.

The Warnow was last seen on April 15 as it set sail from Stonehaven, and was due in Norway on April 22.

Aberdeen Coastguard was alerted, on Monday, by a call expressing concern for the safety of vessel and crew, at which time they were a week overdue.