Fisherman loses leg in trawler accident

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A Peterhead fisherman is recovering in hospital after losing his right leg in a freak accident aboard a trawler.

22-years-old Paul Buchan was working aboard the pair trawler ‘Fruitful Vine’ about 50 miles out of Aberdeen when the accident happened.He was airlifted to ARI but despite efforts to save his leg it had to be amputated above the knee.

Speaking to the Buchanie on Friday, Paul’s father, Andrew, said the family had been devastated when they first heard the news but said his son is now up and putting on a brave face.

“He’s coming on really well all things considered,” he said.

“He’s up and about in his wheelchair, which was a surprise, and he’s making jokes.

“He asked when he was lying in the hospital bed if he would get back to sea again, I didn’t know what to say to him but for health and safety reasons I don’t think he will.”

Andrew, who also worked in the fishing industry, described the accident as he understood it.

“The Flourish, the Fruitful Vine’s pair trawler, was on the wrong side of the wind, meaning the boat was blown on top of the net, so Paul passed a rope over to the Flourish to tow away from the net.

“The Fruitful Vine then went ahead andat this point his leg got caught in the rope. By the time he realised his leg was caught it was too late.

“He says he felt his leg getting squashed then after about five to ten minutes he felt and heard the bone snap.

“The skipper, John Nicol, got on the phone to the doctor then the cook, Charlie McDonald, attended to Paul.

“He applied the tourniquet while the helicopter came from Inverness. It took about an hour to get there and 20 minutes to get to ARI.

“The skipper called us just after nine on Saturday morning telling us Paul had been airlifted. I asked what was wrong with his leg, was it broken?

“The skipper was obviously in shock as well and he told us it was severed.”

Andrew said the quick-thinking of the cook had more than likely saved Paul’s life.

“The surgeon spoke to us on Saturday and told us they had taken his leg off just below the knee then on Monday he was taken in to the operating theatre again and more was taken off, this time just above the knee.

“We were told that the cook did an excellent job with the tourniquet and we’d like to thank him because he probably saved Paul’s life.

“We’d also like to thank the Fishermen’s Mission Superintendent Steve Murray for all his help and support throughout.”