No ban on St Monans pier fishing

Anglers cut off by tide and waves at St Monans pier.
Anglers cut off by tide and waves at St Monans pier.

A BAN on fishing from the pier at St Monans seems unlikely – despite a recent incident that could have ended catastrophically.

Two men were strongly criticised by Coastguard personnel when they had be to be rescued after their angling trip took a hazardous twist.

A rising tide and heavy seas cut the men off on the exposed pier and they were in danger of being swept out to sea.

However, village harbourmaster Norrie Hall said he had no intention of forbidding fishing – or some of the other recreational activity – at St Monans pier, as the vast majority of enthusiasts who went there were sensible.

Mr Hall believed the May 7 incident was a “one-off” but it nevertheless highlighted the dangers and emphasised the importance of common sense.

The need for a rescue should not have arisen, he added, but the men were unlucky to have been caught out so quickly by the change in conditions.

The RNLI’s all-weather and inshore Anstruther lifeboats, plus a coastguard vessel from Leven, were involved in the rescue.

The Coastguard’s Forth District watch manager, Simon Smart, called the men’s actions on the day “foolhardy” and said they should have known better, being local.

The Coastguard could not stop people going out, he added, but common sense had to prevail and the anglers had “put themselves in danger, big style”.

Mr Hall said lots of fishermen went to the pier and the harbour walls but, when the weather was bad, “they have been using their loaf”.

Sometimes he had to speak to them about leaving hooks or other debris on the pier, he said, but they were largely responsible when reacting to high tides and rising waves.

Mr Hall said he had no plans to prevent fishing, or stop peoplejumping into the water for summer fun, which was different from ‘tombstoning’.