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Smuggling drama for Dumfries tall ship

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By Fiona Reid
Smuggling drama for Dumfries tall ship

A TALL ship from Dumfries has been caught up in a gun battle with excisemen.

La Malouine, from Kingholm Quay, added real drama to The Ballantrae Smuggling Festival this week, as its crew donned costumes and fired off a cannon at the event.
Ship’s master Roy Kerr said: “We were asked to come into Ballantrae Bay as part of the festival and anchor just off the beach, and transfer cargo of brandy and tobacco and salt onto the long boats taking it onto the beach. The long boats are from The Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, and they had one of them acting as excisemen.
“So after they confiscated the cargo off the beach they put a long boat out to arrest the ship and we fired off our canon.”
He added: “They made a very fast retreat.”
The annual festival also included a Smugglers’ Market and Smuggler Sam’s Children’s Day.
La Malouine sailed in on Monday from the Isle of Whithorn.
Roy said: “We announced our arrival by firing off our canon, which really rattled a lot of the windows.”
And organisers say the dramatic re-enactment in Ballantrae Bay on Tuesday evening proved the highlight of the festival so far.
La Malouine’s crew had donned costumes for the event, and Roy had arranged a 180 decibel cannon thanks to a special experts friend, who has been most recently working on the third Star Trek movie.
Andy McAlpine, of the Ballantrae Development Group, said: “It has been a great privilege to have La Malouine, her Master Roy Kerr and his motley crew play a part in this year’s festival.
“She is a beautiful ship and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her in the waters from Dumfries up Scotland’s west coast.”

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