A fund to help the fishermen of Porthleven has already reached almost £14,000 due to “heart-warming” community support.
Cheques are being received from around the country, including from holidaymakers who have stayed in the port and watched in horror as boats were sunk and fishermen’s livelihoods put under threat as a result of the storms.
Only yesterday (Tuesday) Leigh Santi, landlady of the Atlantic Inn, added a further £760 to the pot from cheques received that day alone.
The money will eventually go to the Porthleven Fishermen’s Association, which will decide on the best way to spend the donations.
The port’s fishermen lost large number of nets, buoys and other equipment that was washed to the bottom of the harbour, and were also forced to pay for cranes out of their own pockets to empty the harbour of boats when the sea defences were breached.
One of the biggest fundraisers so far took place at the Atlantic Inn on Saturday, when £7,888 was collected over the course of the day through a coffee morning followed by an evening auction and raffle.
The 170 lots in the auction, which raised £3,300 alone, included £5,000 worth of free advertising from Engine House Media, an iPad Mini from PC Solutions in Helston and meal vouchers for four people to Sea Drift in Porthleven and Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant in Rock.
Among lots that went for over their estimated value were photographs of the storms from local photographers, which sold for double their retail price.
There were so many items donated that many of the lower value items went into a separate raffle, which was described as “absolutely phenomenal” with no prize worth less than £20.
Rather than bottles of wine and boxes of chocolates, this raffle offered chauffer driven BMWs from Ocean Falmouth and restaurant vouchers worth £50 or £60. Every pub in Porthleven donated something.
Leigh said: “It’s just absolutely amazing. At the end of the day it’s very heart-warming and I think it’s put a lot of people’s faith back in each other.
She believed that people had really got behind the fundraising because most had been affected by the storms in some way, whether by losing a fence panel or getting flooded.
“I think people empathise with the people here,” she added.
The final figure raised is certain to be much higher, with Skinner’s Brewery donating 5p for every pint of its beer “Porthleven” sold during February. Three barrels were sold at the Atlantic on Saturday alone.
The Boathouse pub in Falmouth has already sent £750 from a fundraising event held there and many others are raising money.