Memorial after East Wemyss fishing tragedy

The sea rescue off the coast of East Wemyss last year after the three men were reported missing
The sea rescue off the coast of East Wemyss last year after the three men were reported missing

A memorial to the three men who died in a boating accident last year will be unveiled in East Wemyss this Saturday.

David Stead (47), Jason Buchan (35) and Birrell Stewart (30) drowned on a fishing trip after their boat capsized on August 10.

Andrew Comrie, a close friend of all three, had been with them on the day of the accident and says he is still finding it hard to come to terms with the loss.

“It was a beautiful day and the three of them decided that they would go out fishing.

“I dropped them off around 12.30 in the afternoon. It was Birrell’s first time ever out in a boat.”

From his window overlooking the Forth, Andrew said he could see them fishing until around 3.45pm when they weather took a dramatic turn for the worse.

“I could see them coming in. I went through, put the kettle on and when I came back and looked out again I couldn’t see them.”

Andrew made a 999 call to the coastguard but by the time they got to the boat it was upturned and the three were gone.

He said the funerals were a “horrendous time” but it was then he decided that the three deserved a memorial.

“A lot of people were talking about getting one done. I thought, no, I’m not talking about it, I’m getting it done.”

Andrew called Cllr David Graham and after meeting with him and Dave Paterson from Fife Council got underway with preparations. He says the response and help from the local community and businesses has been “unbelievable”.

“There’s been so many - Buckhaven Building Supplies donated everything we needed for free, for example, and Granite Systems also gave us the marble for nothing.

“We need to thank a lot of people.

“Hopefully this will help to make locals feel a bit better about such a tragedy.”

Councillor David Graham will unveil the memorial at 2pm at Kingslaw in East Wemyss.

He paid tribute to the community spirit displayed in the wake of the tragedy.

“I am truly honoured to be asked to unveil this memorial on behalf of the families who lost their loved ones in this tragic incident.

“It was humbling to see the community pulling together to support the families at the time of the incident and thereafter which I’m sure was comforting to the families involved.”

He added: “This memorial is a fitting tribute to the memory of the men who lost their lives and shall continue their memory for generations to come.”