TWO fishermen landed podium places at the angling festival last Monday despite only just beating the 5pm deadline after they stopped to rescue a stranded sailor.
James Verrill, of Robin Hood’s Bay, and Tim Wright, of Staithes, came second and third respectively but risked forfeiting their prize when their boat stopped to pick up a boater who was in peril.
Peter Horbury was on the Two Dogs, skippered by John Wilford, as a member of a party of eight anglers and said: “We had a cracking day, and thanks to John Wilford we caught 40-plus stone of fish.
“We now had to get back to Whitby in time to weigh in but the weather started to deteriorate and the sea was choppy to say the least, and we would be riding the swell all the way back to Whitby.”
Whilst steaming back to harbour Mr Horbury spotted a man waving his hands above his head from the deck of a small inflatable and, having previously heard that both Staithes and Whitby lifeboats were searching for the man, the fishing crew decided to take action, towing the TT Midnight back to Whitby.
Mr Horbury added: “We were now two miles from Whitby and it was touch and go as to whether or not we would be under the bridge before the allotted time of 5pm.
“John Wilford contacted John Whitton of the Never Can Tell A to inform him of our actions and to clarify the festival rules about assisting a broken-down vessel, but thankfully we were under the bridge with a minute to spare.”
Having helped save the day the two fishermen were able to collect their prizes having both landed cod over 10lbs in weight.
l For more news on the Angling Festival see back page of today’s Whitby Gazette.