250 years on from Crail fishing tragedy

Descendants of the victims of the Crail Fishing Disasterthrow a wreath in the water outside the harbour, before unveiling a new bench. Picture by George McLuskie
Descendants of the victims of the Crail Fishing Disasterthrow a wreath in the water outside the harbour, before unveiling a new bench. Picture by George McLuskie
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Relatives and family members of a group of East Neuk fishermen gathered in Crail at the weekend for a special commemoration.

They observed the 250th anniversary of a disaster which occurred in the burgh’s harbour, in which eight local fishermen lost their lives.
Around 50 relatives assembled on Saturday morning to throw a memorial wreath into the water outside the harbour and they donated a new public bench, bearing the names of the victims, to the local community.
Few details are known about the precise cause of the tragedy, which happened just as the boat was leaving Crail harbour and claimed the lives of Henry Burns, Thomas Cunningham, James Dewar, William Runciman, Andrew Taylor, John Brown, James Key and John Ramsey.
The disaster, which happened in 1765, saw six wives and over 30 children in Crail affected.
The bench, which has been donated to the community by the descendants of the local fishermen, is located in the shelter of the sea wall in the village’s harbour.