Destructive waves were ‘biggest in living memory’: VIDEO

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Fair Isle residents say the waves which damaged parts of the wall surrounding the South Lighthouse were the biggest in living memory.

The high seas swept around the lighthouse washing parts of the wall more than 100 metres away.

Tommy Hyndman lives nearby and saw the dramatic scene. He said: “It is sad to see the light house get damaged and it is just shocking. Also it’s just that power of nature and fear for your life.”

He added: “In Shetland we see storms all the time. This one really had some of the biggest waves I have seen. I know waves have come around the lighthouse before but those walls have been there about 100 years.

“They were not in bad shape or anything it’s just the waves crashed over them and took them.”

Tommy managed to capture the scene on a video camera which he posted on his Fair Isle blog and shared with The Shetland Times. He said filming the waves was a challenge.  “It’s hard to stand up, cold, but you don’t see stuff like this…it’s amazing stuff really.”


Fair Isle weather forecaster Dave Wheeler backed up Tommy’s claim about the waves being the biggest he had seen. Mr Wheeler said: “It’s been a pretty rough 24-hours.”

He said various websites had forecast the size of the swells that were heading for Fair Isle. “It looked like we were going to see at least 30 feet swells, I think some of them probably were bigger than that.

“It’s the power of the seas and the height of the swells; I don’t think anybody living on the island had seen before.”

He said some of the material from the destroyed wall was carried “a couple of hundred metres” and even the larger pieces were dumped 100 metres away.

More reaction and photographs in this week’s paper.


Add Your Comment
  • Robbie Tulloch

    • February 5th, 2013 20:03

    Interesting to hear how big the sea`s have been around Fair Isle as the last couple of day`s we have recorded some large waves up to 25 metre on the Petrojarl Foinaven giving a heave of 32 metre on the vessel herself,although several years ago we recorded a 35metre wave and vessel heave of almost 42 metre.


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