A Scottish couple says their business is facing ‘crippling losses’ after their fishing boat was deliberately sunk.
Tina and Ross Coventry run a shellfish delivery business in Fife, providing lobster and mackerel to a number of high-end restaurants.
But their livelihood was thrown into doubt last week (July 28) when their boat, The Tina Louise, was sunk in just four minutes.
CCTV caught a hooded man drilling holes into the hull – and the couple are offering a ‘substantial’ reward for any information which identifies him.
Ross, 47, said: ‘It is devastating, this time of the year is peak season for lobster – you don’t get many in winter.
‘We have built up a good customer base of top end restaurants who have now lost their regular supplier.
‘Because of the number of incidents in the area, police are now looking to see if there is a connection.’
A spate of thefts at Methil Dockyards have also seen thousands of pounds worth of lobster stolen – and Police Scotland are investigating.
The couple believe the man climbed the security fence and made his way directly to the Tina Louise, before drilling a number of holes in the hull below the waterline.
The water overwhelmed the bilge pump batteries and the boat sank a few hours later.
Ross added: ‘It took less than four minutes to destroy our livelihoods. We need to get the boat back on to dry land to see what the damage is and whether it is worth repairing.
‘The hull can be fixed, but the engine has been in sea water for a whole week and the there is no hope of the electronics in it working.
‘Even if it is a write-off we have to then go and find a boat and it isn’t as easy as just buying a car.
‘This is the busiest time of the year so not many are selling, and any new boat has to go through a number of tests and checks to make sure it is sea worthy.’
The Coventrys are concerned they could be left on dry land and unable to work for a considerable amount of time – and the final repair bill could reach tens of thousands of pounds.
A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: ‘Around 7:00am on Friday, July, 28 we received a report that a boat had been damaged causing it to sink at Methil Dockyards, Harbour View, Methil.
‘Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 0569 of 28 July, 2023.’
One of their customers, Vikki Wood of The Wee Restaurant in North Queensferry, has set up a JustGiving page to help them get back on their feet.
It’s already raised more than £7,000 and you can view the fundraising page here.
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