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Porthleven fishermen humbled by £15,000 fundraising appeal

By WBGraeme  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

  • The boats are removed from Porthleven harbour after defences were swept away by a storm surge

  • A fundraising cake stall at the Atlantic Inn in Porthleven

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THE fishermen of Porthleven have thanked the community for their “tremendous effort” in raising about £15,000 in less than a week.

The figure so far is at £12,000, with more money pouring in each day or promised.

Alan Richards, secretary of the Porthleven Fishermen’s Association, said they were humbled and overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity.

He said: “It’s a fantastic and tremendous effort. We are quite overwhelmed to be honest.

“We hope this will form the start of a new working relationship with the local community. We certainly won’t forget this.”

Fisherman David Toy said jokingly that they go about their business in the harbour thinking nobody notices them – but when it has all gone horribly wrong, nothing is further from the truth.

A fundraiser at the Atlantic Inn on Saturday raised £7,888 on the night, with about £1,000 extra in cash donations.

Cheques have also been sent from people around the country who come to Porthleven on holiday. The pub received £750 on one day alone.

The town council has pledged £1,000, Councillor Andrew Wallis £500 from his community fund and £750 was raised by the Boathouse pub in Falmouth. Skinner's Brewery in Truro has also pledged 5p from the sale of all Porthleven ales this month.

It comes after storms two weeks ago caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and expense.

Mr Richards said the biggest cost had been to hire cranes to lift boats from the harbour, which will be needed again to return them.

Equipment worth about £2,000 to £3,000 was washed away and cannot be claimed back on insurance, unlike damage to the boats.

The fisherman has also been unable to put to sea since December.

“It’s just one thing after another,” added Mr Richards.

“You know, if it wasn’t for the support we’ve received, I think some of us would decide to call it a day.”

He praised the efforts of harbour master Philip Ward.

Leigh Santi, from the Atlantic Inn, said she was staggered at the amount raised.

“I started this with a phone call and a couple of sentences on Facebook.

“Porthleven is a great place for fundraising. The people are so generous, but when you have this kind of response, it’s absolutely phenomenal.”

Porthleven has 11 fishermen with four full-time fishing boats and 7 part-time boats.

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