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  • The last time the Russians crashed on my island...
    • John Coutts
      Posted Mar 25, 2001 7:43 AM

      It was a Russian trawler actually, and it hit a rocky coast on the small Scottish island where I live on a dark winter's evening with a force 10 gale blowing.

      It was 1962 and I was 11. With a friend I watched the trawler slowly sinking while the local coastguard tried to rescue the crew. Another trawler in the area managed to rescue about half of the crew and the rest, including the captain, were taken on to the island of Fetlar by breeches buoy.

      The following morning before they left (in a wave of publicity from the local media) the captain handed all of us children a coin from his pocket saying, "Keep this and remember the night our ship was wrecked off your island."

      I still have that coin. It's a 15 kopek coin dated 1953, silver in color and quite small. I often think about those crewmen.

      Well, all this is a long way off MIR space station, but I thought you might like to know that here in Shetland we're kinda used to Russian things crashing - though to be fair it only happened once.


      John Coutts.
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