Scottish couple offer 'stress-buster' day of salmon fishing for key workers

Keen salmon fisher Samantha Datta and her husband Sandy, who is a doctor in Edinburgh, understand the need to unwind during the coronavirus outbreak.

Working on the frontline can be stressful and exhausting for key workers during a global pandemic.

A Scottish couple, who are exposed to the daily trials and tribulations of being an NHS worker during COVID-19 lockdown, have come up with an idea to help frontline workers unwind.

Samantha, 41, and 40-year-old Sandy Datta from Abernethy are passionate about salmon fishing and run their own business on the River Tay.

Samantha, 41, and 40-year-old Sandy Datta from Abernethy are passionate about salmon fishing and run their own business on the River Tay.

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The pair, who want to give something back to NHS staff for all their hard work, have set a date for key workers to enjoy a day out casting rods on the river

“It’s a real good stress buster,” said Samantha, who runs the couple’s salmon fishing business full-time.

“We want to offer a day of relaxation and some lunch on the river for some of these hard workers, to give them an opportunity to have a break and get away from the stress of COVID-19.”

Samantha, whose husband Sandy works as a child psychiatrist in the Lothians, said the couple will be able to accommodate about 30 key workers on the river.

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“There are different beats on the river that can have up to about six to eight rods at one time,” the keen fisherwoman said.

“But since we launched this idea, a lot more beats have approached us offering their area so we should be able to invite more than we thought.”

The couple have already received applications from NHS key workers eager to have a go at catching a fish.

“Some of these essential workers’ stories are heart-wrenching,” she said.

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“We have had a couple apply who were due to get married but have put everything off to help people through the coronavirus, and another retired doctor who is off to work at one of the Nightingale Hospitals.”

Samantha said depending on how many apply, she will pick the names by random to fill the spaces available.

The event, due to take place on August 8, will go ahead depending on government guidelines.

Under current restrictions, all rivers in Scotland are “closed” to fishing.

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The keen salmon fishers hope the restrictions will lift in the next three weeks.

“August is a prime time to catch salmon on the River Tay,” Samantha added.

“We thought given that’s a few months away, the day out will be able to go ahead.”

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