Belfast Telegraph

Prince meets old fisherman again

The Prince of Wales and an 86-year-old fisherman recalled a past encounter on the high seas as he and the Duchess of Cornwall set sail on a trawler during a visit to Northern Ireland.

Howard Forsythe told the Prince of Wales he was on board a fishing boat in the 1970s when a Royal Navy vessel commanded by His Royal Highness flagged them down to carry out a random check search.

The life-long fisherman recounted the incident as he welcomed the royal couple on to his trawler, Boys Pride, in Kilkeel harbour in Co Down.

"He laughed when I told him about it," said Mr Forsythe afterwards. "He said I was lucky he hadn't run me over."

The Prince showed no lack of naval skills four decades on as he jumped at the opportunity to take the wheel on the short trip around the picturesque harbour which sits in the shadow of the spectacular Mountain of Mourne.

But the duchess did not appear so confident in her husband's ability to chart a steady course as she gripped hard on the boat's railings as they chugged along.

Mr Forsythe said he was impressed by his stand-in captain. "The Prince steered it up the harbour no bother at all," he joked.

Back on dry land at the other end of the harbour, their Royal Highnesses were given a rapturous welcome by a crowd of cheering, flag-waving schoolchildren.

It was the first time the fishing town had experienced such a high-profile royal visit and every vantage point at the water front was taken, with workers in nearby fish production plants crowded round windows to catch a glimpse.

Fishmonger Heather Millar said the shell fish had caught their eye. She said: "They were such a lovely couple. Camilla said she loves fish, she's a real fish woman."

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