Scallop dredger assaulted in the Channel

A fisherman who was scallop dredging in the Channel was recently assaulted by a large number of French vessels. Kevin Loughran is the skipper of a vessel that was looking for scallops and he recently stated that he was surrounded by eight boats which proceeded to attack his ship during a dispute he was involved in of the French coast.

He said that he had to call for assistance after flares and rocks were fired at his boat, however when other British boats arrived to help out, they were also attacked. Mr Loughran commented, “I’ve been a sale of the 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything quite like this. We were just sitting ducks waiting to be attacked, and it’s lucky that no one was killed. This is obviously a serious situation and we hope that the Navy will take this seriously and consider providing us with a vessel if this should ever happen again.”

The boats were technically fishing in French waters but British boats are entitled to fish in the area, as long as they remain 20 miles off the coast. This area was recently closed to the French as local authorities wanted to regenerate the number of scallops in the area. This closure did not apply to the British ships, and it is thought that this attack could have been in retaliation to the situation.

The head of operations for the Marine Management Organisation, heard of the attack and immediately contacted the French authorities. The authorities were encouraged to get involved, in order to prevent the attack, and they did so. It is believed that they are currently attempting to deal with the matter in order to resolve the situation. A spokesperson commented, “The French authorities are responsible for ensuring the safety of the UK vessels when they are in French waters.”