Fisherman angered as boat suffers damage from a suspected collision

Robert Oliver alongside his damaged coble at Cullercoats. 1507131002

Robert Oliver alongside his damaged coble at Cullercoats. 1507131002

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Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to a fisherman’s boat while harboured in Cullercoat’s Bay.

Robert Oliver’s boat the James Denyer, a traditional Northumberland Coble, was damaged overnight on Thursday July 11.

But whoever caused the hole in the side of the vessel his father bought in the 1960s, has not owned up and left Robert having to fork out the cost of the repair.

He believes water craft may have hit the boat as the harbour has been popular with riders of late.

He said: “There’s supposed to be a speed limit around the harbour but no one polices it or monitors it.

“If whoever did this held their hands up to it, it wouldn’t be so bad and we could sort out the insurance, but it’s a big job to repair that boat now.”

Robert is counting himself lucky that the boat did not end up full of water and was damaged on a calm night.

He added:“If it had have been choppy, water getting through that hole during the night would have sunk it.

“This is my livelihood, and it’s not the first time it has happened.”

Now the 48-year-old is calling for North Tyneside Council to change the launch site to protect residents.

He said: “No one wanted the launch site here.

“This is a fishing village and it’s getting ruined. Let someone else experience what it is like for a change.”

Police said if anyone has any information into the damage to contact them on 101 ext 69191.

A council spokesperson said they were aware of the incident, and added: “Any impact causing this level of damage to the fisherman’s boat would have caused extensive damage to the other vessel involved in and potentially those on board the vessel.”