Borders beachcombers asked not to take timber

editorial image

Borderers are being urged not to try to salvage timber washed up along the east coast after the cargo of a ship in the North Sea lost a significant amount of its load.

The cargo vessel ‘Frisian Lady’ lost some 200 timber bundles during severe weather earlier this month whilst she was positioned 110 nautical miles east of Souter Lighthouse, off the South Shields coast.

Some of the timber was recovered at sea and the rest , in various sizes between 2.5m-3m long, are believed to have largely broken up into individual planks and are washing up on beaches between Eyemouth and St Andrews. They are saturated by seawater and are no longer usable for construction.

Local authorities that are affected are monitoring the situation along their coastline and leading the clean-up operations within their area.

Chief Inspector James Jones of Police Scotland is urging members of the public not to attempt to salvage any of the timber themselves.

He said: “Some areas of our coastline can be dangerous, with strong tides, deep water and rocky areas. Do not put yourself at risk by trying to recover any of the timber yourself – contractors who are brought in to clear the timber away have been trained to deal with such situations and have the equipment to do so, please leave it to the professionals.”

Under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, all recoveries of wreck material must be reported to the receiver of wreck. Failing to report removal of wreck to the receiver is a criminal offence.