25th September 2017

Metal hunters get hitched after surviving horror crash

Two of the country’s most successful metal detectorists tied the knot in the isles last night – just eight months after cheating death.

Millionaire metal hunter Derek McLennan married Sharon McKee at Saxa Vord resort, Unst, after the original location at Norwick beach had to be ruled out due to bad weather.

But marriage is not the only reason for their trip – they have also been taking part in UnstFest’s metal detecting rally this weekend.

“We couldn’t think of anywhere more romantic than the Shetland islands – and we have obviously got metal detecting as well,” said Mr McLennan, who scooped £2 million in 2014 after discovering a Viking hoard described as the most important find in Scottish history.

However, the couple are lucky to be alive after a collision with a 44-tonne lorry last year left Sharon with devastating injuries, including crushed lungs and a lacerated liver.

Mr McLennan proposed to Sharon as she lay on a hospital bed, where she spent three months recuperating.

“We decided we should get married after the proposal – the sooner the better. We talked about going abroad but our hearts are in Scotland,” said Mr McLennan.

The couple chose Unst when they saw an advert for the metal detecting rally on 15th-16th July organised by Haroldswick-based Malcolm Brown.

“We thought ‘this is too good an opportunity to miss.’ We had always wanted to come up to Shetland anyway so we thought this was a no-brainer to come up here,” said Mr McLennan.

When Sharon woke up after being on life support, Mr McLennan promised her they would be out metal detecting again in the summer. With Sharon needing taught how to walk again, that seemed a tall order.

Yet the promise was met this weekend and Mr McLennan said he and Sharon “cannot imagine being anywhere else”.

Owner of Saxa Vord Debbie Strang said: “The ceremony was very short and intimate and it was a privilege to be there.”

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