These photos show the moment a daring draatsi clambered on to a salmon well boat and helped itself to a free fish supper.
The sneaky otter made its way onto the Gerda Saele, skippered by David Lowe, while the vessel was discharging salmon at the Shetland Catch pier last week.
Charlie Umphray was one of the crew and was in the mess at the time. He’s been in his current job about six months but has spent a lifetime at the fishing and says he had never seen anything like it.
“I was in the mess room and I heard the boys saying there was an otter on the boat. I grabbed my camera … It was very comical seeing it trying to get ashore.”
Charlie, from Bressay, said the crew often see otters at the Catch, usually disappearing in among the thousands of pallets that are stacked there. But for it to come onboard and take a salmon was unprecedented.
He said it appeared to clamber through one of the pumps that are used to extract the fish from the salmon wells.
“It came out with a five kilo salmon it found in the pipe. It struggled to get it ashore but managed in the end to get it.”
Charlie added: “We see them going in and out of the pallets here but to come on the boat, especially when we are discharging [is unusual] because there’s a lot of noise.
“He actually got up the stairs and he went ashore that way. It was great to see it, it was amazing.
“I have seen otters on boats before, but not doing that.”