CAMPAIGNERS have been ‘overwhelmed’ with the kind-hearted donations given to the fund for the three fishermen’s families.

Collection buckets for Echo-Backed The Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund have been filling as the town comes to terms with the loss of David McFarlane, 35, Jack Craig, 22 and Robert Prowse, 20.

The registered charity, which is being spearheaded by the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association, has so far raised hundreds of pounds.

It was started after the body of Purbeck Isle skipper and father-of-three David was recovered from the sea and a search was called off for Jack and Robert with coastguards stating there was no hope of finding them alive.

Secretary of the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association said: “It’s grown so rapidly and much faster than we ever could have anticipated, it’s been brilliant.

“We’ve had fishermen as far away as Scotland get in contact and say ‘this story has affected us, how can we give to the fund?’”

Toni Samways, pictured left, the proprietor of The George Inn, which has been collecting donations, said: “We think so far we’ve collected about £400.

“People have been so generous. An elderly man walked in this morning and put £20 in to the collection. We’ve been overwhelmed. It’s so nice to see when people don’t have much themselves.”

A karaoke and Play Your Cards Right night will take place at the pub tomorrow from 7pm.

How to help

Cash donations or cheques payable to the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association can be dropped in to the Dorset Echo offices on the Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth, Antelope Walk in Dorchester or East Street in Bridport.

Or they can be posted to Purbeck Isle Appeal, Dorset Echo, Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XD.

Anyone wishing to pay by credit card can do so at And donations can also be made at more than 38 locations, including The King’s Arms, The Sailor’s Return, Rendezvous, The Royal Oak, The Ship Inn, Weyfish and Weymouth Angling Centre in St Edmund Street, Wetherspoon’s William Henry and The Swan, Alf’s Fish and Chips and Vaughan’s Bistro.

Donations can also be made over the counter at the Halifax branch in Weymouth.

If anyone would like a collection tin for their business please call the Echo newsdesk on 830999.