Tiger Hill @ Cairnbulg

July 2014 saw the crew of the Fraserburgh lifeboat summoned to rescue the crew of the fishing trawler ‘Sovereign’ which had run aground at Cairnbulg some nine years before.
A member of the lifeboat crew told reporters that a tourist had been standing on Tiger Hill when she spotted the ship lying on its side on a reef. "She must have thought that it had just freshly sunk and made the call to the RNLI." 

"It is a familiar landmark to locals but you can see how easy it would be for a visitor to mistake it for a vessel in distress" he continued "It was a mistake made with the best of intentions."
The Banff-registered trawler had in fact run aground during a storm in December 2005 with the five fishermen on board being airlifted to safety.

The rusting wreck later made international headlines when it made a surprise appearance on a promotional cinema poster for the Hollywood movie Life of Pi. The blockbuster, an adaptation of a Yann Martel novel, features the story a 16-year-old Indian boy who becomes a castaway when the ship carrying him to America is wrecked in a violent storm.

Oddly perhaps, the young lad is then marooned on a lifeboat with a wild tiger for company.

Meanwhile at Cairnbulg, the winter storms from the North Sea continue to batter the wreck of the Sovereign and with each successive storm the shipwreck moves closer and closer to the shore. Seemingly maritime insurers have refused to remove the rusting wreck despite local fears that it poses a public safety issue.

Local wags at Cairnbulg and the neighbouring village of Inverallochy, fearful perhaps of having a genuine tiger making it ashore to take up residence on Tiger Hill are seemingly planning to erect a Tiger enclosure in the village, just in case.

Duncan Harley is author of The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire plus the forthcoming title: The Little History of Aberdeenshire - due out in March 2019


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