Fife harbour badly damaged by Storm Babet begins re-opening to allow fishermen back to sea
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The move comes after Storm Babet caused “significant” damage to the harbour in St Andrews which led to its closure, putting a temporary block on the traditional Sunday Pier walks. The north-west slipway was lost, and work to carry out repairs continues.
A spokesperson for St Andrews Harbour Trust said, “Following an inspection of the harbour, we are pleased to report a phased re-opening allowing fishermen to get back to sea and resume their working lives, while work continues.
"Our Harbour Master, who has powers of direction to regulate the time and manner of vessels' entry, departure, and movement within harbour waters, has issued a special direction. Communicated to all boat owners this morning (Thursday), the situation remains under constant review as weather and tidal constraints allow.”The trust said the car park remains closed due to the loss of the north-west slipway and the general public should continue to exercise extreme caution around all areas of the waterfront. The pier also remains closed.
The spokesperson added: ““We are working hard to explore funding streams to repair and future-proof the harbour area.”
The trust is exploring additional funding to support both emergency and long-term repair work which it estimates costing over £500,000.
It is engaging with the Scottish Government, statutory bodies and professional services to plan remedial works but expect further storms will exacerbate the issue before any works can be carried out.
Storm, Babet also caused damage to West Sands beach in St Andrews. According to West Sands Ranger Service strong winds and tidal surges removed around 1m of vertical height over the entire beach, and there was “significant damage” along the dune front. All dune paths were affected too, resulting in what they described as “sizeable drop onto the beach” going through the dunes.”
St Andrews Aquarium has also closed until further notice. The aquarium said all its animals are safe, but the popular visitor attraction, based on the town’s Scores, suffered “substantial” damage caused by the storms and tidal surges.
The family owned aquarium, which opened in 1999, has more than 120 species on show every day, in its cliff-top setting overlooking St Andrews bay.