Tributes have been paid to 64-year-old fisherman Peter Gray who lost his life on Sunday 02 May last. Photo: East Lotian Courier

Tributes have been paid to 64-year-old fisherman Peter Gray who lost his life on Sunday 02 May last. Photo: East Lothian Courier

Tributes have been paid to a 64-year-old fisherman who died after falling into the sea from his fishing vessel off the East Lothian coast of Scotland.

Peter Gray, a father-of-two and grandfather-of-two died on Sunday last (02 May) after he was pulled from the water by a coastguard helicopter after a search was launched when his vessel was found unmanned a mile north-east of Torness at about 16:20 on Saturday.

Lifeboat crews from Dunbar and St Abbs, local fishing boats and a coastguard helicopter joined an extensive search for the local fisherman.

The missing man was found at about 18:00 and winched aboard the helicopter and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but unfortunately, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police Scotland said there were no suspicious circumstances, and a report would be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

An investigation has now been launched by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, which probes accidents in UK waters. Funeral arrangements have still to be confirmed.

His wife of 42 years Betty told local newspaper, The East Lothian Courier that she was very grateful to all the fishermen and volunteers who had joined the search for her husband. She told the Courier “he loved a holiday in the sun” but, as a fisherman, had “no time for hobbies”.

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The Rev Dr Suzie Fletcher, minister of Dunglass, spoke with Mr Gray’s family on Tuesday.

She said: “Peter Gray was one of the fifth generation of his family to fish from Cove, and had been out to sea doing the job he loved day in and day out for decades. His loss has left his family, the local community, many circles of fishermen and countless friends in shock.

“He was a kind man who was always willing to help out with anything, and loved nothing more than taking his dog for a walk in the rain or going to sunnier places for his holidays.

“His wife and children are very grateful to all the fishermen who joined the RNLI and Coastguard in the search.”

And she added: “The Gray family have been part of the fabric of the Cove and Cockburnspath community for generations, but the ripples of this tragic news will be felt much more widely.”

Alasdair Swan, chairman of Dunbar Harbour Trust, said: “Dunbar Harbour Trust were so sad to hear the news and wishes to pass on its condolences to his family.”

The Home and Dry campaign said:

“We were very saddened to hear of the tragic loss of a Scottish fisherman who died on Sunday after falling from his boat off the coast near Dunbar.

“Thank you to Dunbar Coastguard for their efforts and to all of the fishing vessels who helped in the search operation.

“Our condolences go to the fisherman’s family and friends.

This accident highlights why our safety campaigns are so vital. We urge any vessel owners, skippers and crew members to visit the Home and Dry website today to find out how you can make fishing safer so you can your crew can get back.”

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Tributes paid to 64-year-old fisherman who died ‘doing the job he loved’

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