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Fishing skipper denies drunken Mayday call

A FRASERBURGH fishing skipper is facing a trial at Lerwick Sheriff Court after pleading not guilty on Thursday to being drunk in charge of a drunken crew as it steamed out of Shetland.

Stephen Buchan, master of the white fish boat Phoenix, has been charged with setting off for his home port from Lerwick harbour on 2 February when he was so drunk that he could not account for the whereabouts of his crew, who are also alleged to have been drunk.

The charge states that two rescue craft were launched after the 53 year old issued a Mayday alert saying that his crewman son had fallen overboard, when he was actually asleep in his bunk.

He is also alleged to have refused a request from Lerwick Port Authority staff to return to port.

Meanwhile Buchan’s 19 year old son Matthew, who lives with his father at Fairndale, East Moss Croft, Fraserburgh, faces four charges of reckless damage to four separate cars on Lerwick’s Esplanade on the same day.

He denies breaking three windscreen wipers, one offside wing mirror and denting a car bonnet.

The trial is due to take place on 13 November.