The Shetland Times Live

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Lifeboat is launched to help another lifeboat

June 19, 2024 | 8.40pm

Lerwick Lifeboat crew launched this morning to go to the aid of a decommissioned offshore lifeboat with engine problems south of Shetland.

The eight-metre vessel with two crew on board left Fair Isle earlier today, heading for Bressay marina, but ran into difficulties near Sumburgh Head with engine problems, thought to be related to the engine’s cooling system.

The lifeboat launched at around 10.30am and made good speed to reach the vessel 40 minutes later, about three nautical miles east of Dunrossness.

A decision was made to take the vessel under tow and the lifeboat and vessel made steady progress northwards to Lerwick at around six knots, reaching the quayside by the old fishmarket at around 1.30pm.

The former offshore lifeboat has been refitted into an expedition vessel and recently travelled up from Edinburgh Harbour to Wick, before heading northwards to Shetland, with a plan to eventually cross the North Sea to Norway.

After bringing the vessel safely to the quayside, the Lerwick lifeboat was then refuelled and made ready for service again.

Sea conditions were moderate with increasing south-westerly winds, Force 4-5, and an air temperature of around 10 degrees Celsius.

Coxswain Stephen Manson said: “This was an unusual task for us, to take a former lifeboat under tow.

“However, with increasing south-westerly winds, and the possibility of eventually losing propulsion, the vessel may have been taken further out to sea.

“We’re pleased that this vessel and crew are now safely in Lerwick Harbour for repairs, before taking on any more voyages.”

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Bergen-Shetland yacht race under way

June 19, 2024 | 4.46pm

Yachts competing in the Bergen-Shetland Race have left Bergen.

A total of 24 yachts started the 38th race at Rongesundet, north of the Norwegian port, at 1pm.

They are expected to begin arriving in Lerwick tomorrow afternoon. There will be a prizegiving on Friday.

The race, which incorporates a rally for cruising boats, is organised and conducted by the Vestland Sailing Association of Norway, with the co-operation of the Lerwick Boating Club.

Full crew classes will have a minimum of three members, with double-handed yachts having two.

The vessels, mostly Norwegian with one from the USA, will berth at Albert Dock. They will begin the return race to Bergen on Sunday morning.

The two legs of the challenging race add up to almost 450 miles.

Lerwick Port Authority Harbourmaster Alexander Simpson, said: “The Bergen-Shetland Race is an established feature of our yachting season and of the close relationship the islands enjoy with Norway.

“It underlines the port’s reputation as a popular destination for yacht crews. We look forward to giving friends old and new a warm welcome.”

Track the yachts on: https://cf.yb.tl/shetland2024#

Man jailed for seven years for attempted murder

June 19, 2024 | 12.41pm

A 50-year-old man has been jailed for seven years after attempting to kill another man in Lerwick.

Stephen Savage, 50, carried out a brutal knife attack on 36-year-old Ross Sutherland on 17th September 2022 in the town’s Grostane area.

He was found guilty last month after a trial at the High Court in Glasgow. Sentence was deferred until today for the preparation of background reports.

Stephen Savage

During the trial jurors had heard how Mr Sutherland was blamed for £20 going missing at the property.

One witness described a “loud frenzy” as the victim desperately tried to protect himself.

Savage, of Glasgow, had previously been locked up for four-and-a-half years in 2012 for an unprovoked attack on a dad outside a primary school in the city.

The Shetland murder bid occurred after Savage ended up at the house where the crime occurred. He was not known to most of those there.

Witnesses said an argument erupted about money being stolen and Mr Sutherland was blamed.

Savage was then seen clutching a blade and saw Sutherland had been injured.

Lord Harrower jailed Savage, who had three previous convictions for assaults with weapons, for seven years.

After the sentencing Detective Inspector Calum Reid said: “This was an extremely violent offence that left his victim with life-threatening injuries.

“Our thoughts remain with his victim and his family who were all affected by this crime. I hope this brings them some comfort as Savage now faces the consequences of his reckless actions.

“I hope this conviction highlights our commitment to ensuring those responsible for such crimes will be investigated and brought to justice.

“We will continue to use all resources at our disposal and work with our partner agencies to do this.”

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Power outage after underground cable damaged

June 18, 2024 | 12.00pm

Around 300 homes were left in the dark this morning (Tuesday) after an underground power cable was hit.

SSEN admitted a contractor working on its Kergord-Gremista connection project was behind the outage.

It said the company struck the underground electricity cable at around 8am, with no injuries reported.

Around seven homes remain without power, with engineers expected to restore it by 4pm.

SSEN said most homes were restored within an hour, and repairs to the damaged cable are now under way.

“We thank those affected for their patience while engineers work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” it added.

An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the incident.

Simmer dim biker safety event launched

June 18, 2024 | 10.58am

A pilot scheme aimed at motorcyclists has been launched by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

The scheme, soon to be launched and trialled in Shetland, is asking bikers to donate their old helmets, gifting them to fire stations for use in essential casualty care training.

The scheme will see 28 helmets, between five and eight years old, gifted to Shetlands stations where they will be used for helmet removal training.

Manufacturers recommend replacing helmets after certain period of time to maintain effective protection.

It is hoped that the new scheme not only provides stations with a valuable training aid, but incentivises riders to renew one of the most important items of safety equipment they wear, making them safer in the process.

The scheme will be launched alongside a partnership event at Brae Community Fire Station on Saturday, 22 June.

The event will coincide with the Simmer Dim Rally in Shetland which will see hundreds of bikers descend upon the island.

Ewan Anderson, an on call support watch commander in Shetland, is leading the trial and is hoping for success to enable the scheme to be expanded across 2024 into 2025.

“As firefighters, we want our training to be as realistically as we possibly can,” he said.

“The donation of more modern helmet styles helps us prepare for every possible scenario we may encounter at incidents.”

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Loganair’s former boss claims compensation for flight disruption is ‘overly generous’

June 15, 2024 | 12.49pm

Loganair’s former chief has stoked controversy by claiming the compensation for flight disruption is “overly generous”.

Jonathan Hinkles, who left the airline in January, said the system was “crazy” and  “skewed against aviation”.

Mr Hinkles, who was Loganair’s chief executive for more than seven years, said the current system resulted in “huge costs” for airlines.

He said air passengers received far more than delayed train and ferry travellers.

His comments at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Prestwick were reported by The Scotsman and soon attracted criticism.

People commenting on the Flight Delays and Cancellations Shetland/Orkney Facebook group were unimpressed with what he said.

Several people said they did not want compensation – and would much rather their flight took them to their destination on time.

“If you can’t provide the service, then you pay compensation,” one person wrote.

“This guy lives in cloud cuckoo land.”

Another pointed out that the compensation did not come anywhere near the cost of missing out on special events, such as weddings, funerals or holidays.

“It’s not about the money,” they said.

“I’ll take whatever I can get from these people and it still won’t be enough to miss out on a once in a lifetime event.”

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Relay for life raises £174k – so far … and counting

May 26, 2024 | 12.42am

At midnight on Saturday the Relay for Life Shetland committee announced the total raised
so far this year – unveiling an amazing £174,868.

And with fundraising to continue till the end of August, they expect to smash through the £200k mark.

A typical Shetland day saw the relay get underway at its new start time of midday.

Over 125 survivors took part in the opening lap before peeling off for their reception at the
Anderson High School.

They led off the 32 teams, made up of over 600 participants, that had registered to take part this year.

Kerry Llewellyn, chairwoman of Relay for Life Shetland, said “It has been an amazing event this
year, and the support from the community and local business has been overwhelmingly
positive”

“I want to thank all the volunteers who help us on Friday and Sunday putting the site
together, who bake and help in the tea and BBQ tents and the musicians who keep us
entertained through the day and night.

“I also want to thank all the business that donated raffle prizes our main sponsor Cooke Aquaculture, Ocean Kinetics Ltd, LHD Ltd, Lerwick Port Authority, Scottish Seafarms Ltd and Serene LK297 for supporting the event, EMN Plant Ltd for sponsoring the Survivors’ Reception and Malakoff Ltd for their support of the Candle of Hope ceremony.”

Susan Johnstone – senior divisional manager at CRUK said “It’s been an incredible day at
Relay for Life Shetland.

“The committee, teams and the local community out in force raising money for Cancer Research UK is hugely appreciated by everyone at Cancer Research UK. Together we are beating cancer.”

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WATCH: Relay of Life gets under way

May 25, 2024 | 2.50pm

Hundreds have turned out for the beginning of this year Relay of Life, raising funds for CRUK.

It is the first time the Relay got underway in daylight – having previously begun at midnight – beginning just after noon with the ‘survivors’ lap’.

Kerry Llewellyn, chairwoman of the Relay for Life, was really excited at the beginning, saying it was an important event that brings together all of Shetland for a cause close to many people.

Around 125 survivors began the relay, with the support of families and huge crowds.

They were then joined by participants from 31 teams taking part, with around 610 participants.

However, it was plain to see many more wanted to join in – so the actual number will well exceed that.

Kerry said: “Relay For Life celebrates the power of community fundraising to make breakthroughs happen.

“Teams of friends and family fundraise for world-leading cancer research then unite as a collective at a festival to remember loved ones, honour everyone affected by cancer and celebrate the progress we’re making.”

The ‘survivors’ lap’ was led by Natasha Fraser and Alison Leith, both from Lerwick.

Natasha is in recovery from breast cancer, having undergone treatment over the last two years, while Alison is currently in recovery for breast cancer.

They both said they were “honoured” to be opening the event and leading the other participants.

A fun day is now underway with games, stalls, bouncy castles, tea tent and the Relay BBQ.

There will be musical accompaniment throughout the day with great sets from some of Shetland’s

greatest bands including the Plonkeys, Just Another Cake Fridge and the Revellers.

The Candle of Hope will take place at 10pm, with the event finishing at midnight.

Naval ships call into Lerwick

May 24, 2024 | 4.56pm

A flotilla of naval ships which have been operating for NATO have arrived in Shetland for some “rest and recuperation” for their crews.

The ships, four from the Royal Netherlands Navy and one registered under the Belgium flag, arrived on Friday morning. They are expected to remain over the weekend.

The Mercuur, Zierikzee, Wiilemstad and Makkum are all Royal Netherlands Navy ships. They have differing roles, described as submarine support, military ops or minesweeper.

The Bellis is a “military ops” ships sailing under the flag of Belgium.

They have all been described as working for NATO.

Lerwick Port Authority said they were visiting for “R&R”, and were due to leave again on Monday.

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42nd Folk Festival kicks off

May 2, 2024 | 5.11pm

The 42nd Shetland Folk Festival has got under way in great fashion today.

Musicians gathered for the launch event this afternoon (Thursday), with an array of concerts planned over the coming days.

The Hackles. Photo: Austin Taylor

Norwegian ban Gangar added a bit of folk, rock and metal at the opening, and were joined by The Fretless with Madeleine Roger and the Tenement Jazz Band, tipped to be one of the star acts of the event.

There are 15 visiting acts joining local performers in entertaining the crowds all over Shetland.

Concerts tonight take place in Lerwick – Da Big Kirk Concert, the Legion and Mareel – and at Hamnavoe and Vidlin.

Shetland Wool Week patron awarded to Doull family

April 26, 2024 | 8.09pm

The Shetland Wool Week patron for 2024 has been named today (Fri) at a launch event held at the Shetland Museum and Archives.

In a break from tradition, this year’s patron accolade has been presented to Addie and Margaret Doull from Islesburgh Farm in Northmavine, and their family, in recognition of their dedication to the Shetland Flock Book and commitment to preserving and championing the highest-quality Shetland wool.

The keenly awaited hat pattern, which is synonymous with the launch of the patron was also released.

This year’s hat has been designed by Addie and Margaret’s daughter, Anne, and takes inspiration from the family’s Flock Book roots and the location of their farm and is called the ‘Islesburgh Toorie’.

Shetland Wool Week is delighted to shine a spotlight on the Doull family and to celebrate Shetland oo, the product on which Shetland Wool Week is built. The Doulls are frequently invited to judge shows across the UK, drawing on their expertise in sheep and wool evaluation.

As avid knitters, Margaret, and more recently, Anne, produce exceptional garments of the highest quality too, winning prizes both locally and nationally. Margaret, in particular, is renowned for her hand-knitted Shetland lace.

Anne said: “It’s an honour for the family to be asked to be patrons of this year’s Shetland Wool Week. I’m extremely proud for mam and dad to be recognised for their work with the Shetland Flock Book, which works to preserve and promote the native breed, and it’s something that all the family is committed to.

“We have been farming at Islesburgh, Northmavine, since 1970. The whole family, and Addie’s brother Kenny are involved with the farm and crofts, all helping each other to get the work done.”

The Islesburgh toorie, which is named after the family farm, features a distinctive Shetland Ram motif, a tribute to the family involvement with the Shetland Flock Book.

The inclusion of the print of the wave lace pattern celebrates Margaret’s skilful knitted lace. The colourways are inspired by the many natural shades of their Shetland flock and the heather filled hills and sunset views from the farm.

Hazel Sutherland, chief executive of Shetland Amenity Trust, which manages the event, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that the Doulls have agreed to take on the mantle of Wool Week patron. Our outgoing patron, Alison Rendall, has done a sterling job for us and I would like to sincerely thank her for the commitment she gave to the role.

“Her beautiful Buggiflooer Beanie was a fantastic celebration of Shetland’s natural world, and it inspired many folk to attempt fair isle knitting for the first time and experiment with colour. We’re looking forward to sharing more of the Doull family story and we wish them all the very best for what I’m sure will be a very busy year ahead.”

The Islesburgh Toorie is available in three different colourways using Shetland yarn from Jamieson’s of Shetland; Jamieson & Smith; and Uradale Yarns.

The hat pattern is available to download from the Shetland Wool Week website for £1 and is also available as a printed version for £2 from the Shetland Museum and local wool shops.

Puffin in a puddle

April 20, 2024 | 10.44am

Turns out even puffins like splashing in puddles.

This image by Kiera Munro has been shared by Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.

WATCH: Easter bunny brings joy to Skerries

April 1, 2024 | 9.38am

Passengers aboard the ferry to Skerries were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief after spotting the Easter bunny yesterday (Sunday).

The elusive rabbit was seen waving to the ferry from the Grunay pier as he made his Easter rounds.

And the ferry crew reported adults and children had been left agog at the unexpected sighting, with one said to have declared it as “like something out of a storybook”.

The Easter bunny produced a sign wishing everyone a “Happy Easter”, leaving behind a trail of smiles in his wake.


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