ONE OF Newlyn’s greatest assets sprang into action at the weekend, caring for the fishermen who had been rescued from the vessel that sank off Lizard Point early on Sunday morning.
Superintendent Keith Dickson had a phone call from harbour master Andrew Munson at 3am, asking if the Fishermen’s Mission could be made available for the Panamera’s crew.
Soon after the group of French and Portuguese seafarers were safe and well in the historic port, where Mr Dickson and some of the charity branch’s volunteers were on hand to help out after a troubled night.
“They [fishermen] arrived at around 4am,” explained Mr Dickson.
“We gave them coffee and biscuits and they stayed in the rooms upstairs - although I don’t think many of them got much sleep, understandably.
“On Sunday morning we gave them breakfast and provided them with new clothes and shoes.”
Mr Dickson said the biggest thing was to make sure they had a safe and warm place to stay and added that is essentially what the Fishermen’s Mission is all about - caring for those in need from the maritime world.
He noted communication was difficult at times, as only Andrew Munson could speak in French and the group could not speak much English. But the superintendent said they were with people who cared and that was more than enough.
“I think that’s the kind of thing that speaks to people,” he said. “It was the practical care that we gave. I’m sure they were grateful for the provision.”
Mr Dickson also added he does not know of anywhere else local that could have provided long-term shelter, with RNAS Culdrose, although giving great immediate care, is ultimately a military set-up with limited resources for such situations.
On Sunday evening the fishermen were taken to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to Roscoff in Brittany.