Finders keepers for lucky shepherdess Rhoda

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Mull shepherdess Rhoda Munro is the proud new owner of a £48,000 boat washed up near her home.

Rhoda, who has a croft at Fanmore and looks after 400 ewes on Gometra, found the 25ft upturned boat on the shore at Camus on her way to work on Friday March 13 – Friday 13 might be unlucky for some but for this 43-year-old it turned out to be her lucky day.

She checked it out with the Coastguard and wreck investigator,s and also got in touch with the boat’s Danish makers who turned out to know all about it.

‘They knew it had gone missing. It had slipped off a freight boat in rough sea going from Denmark to customers in Greenland back in April last year,’ she said.

Eventually Rhoda was told the good news that the boat was hers because the insurers had already paid out for it.

Somehow she managed to keep her once-in-a-lifetime find quiet from Facebook  until it was all official.

Now it is back at her croft and has become a lockdown project. It had a few scuffs and bashes and a small split but after it had a good scrub down removing all the barnacles and a clean up, and a fibreglass repair, it is starting to look good and should be ready for a celebratory launch next year.

The boat will be kept for best and not to transport sheep to and from Gometra, said Rhoda, who plans to still use her brother’s fishing boat for that.

‘I’m keeping it, I won’t sell it. It’s a wee hobby. Hopefully next year I’ll get it back in the water and go places. There’s more room in it than my little rib that gets me to Gometra and will be much comfier, you can even sleep in the front of it,’ said Rhoda.

The boat will need a new engine and that could cost £20,000 but Rhoda is not put off.

‘It won’t be my work boat, I’ll save it for best. I’ll probably start off taking it to Coll or Tiree until I get braver and go any further,’ she added.

‘The owners were so delighted I found the boat, they couldn’t believe it was still in one piece. It’s a good advert for its makers Poco,’ said Rhoda who has spoken to a man who saw  what happened when the boat toppled off into the stormy sea.

‘He suggested Sarfaq as a new name for it that in Danish means Ocean Current so that’s what I’m going to call it because it’s true, it was brought to me by the current of the sea. I’m superstitious but lucky for me it’s okay to rename a boat when it’s out of the water! After all Friday 13 didn’t turn out to bad for me this year,’ she said.