A CHANNEL-SWIMMING CHEF got more than he bargained for when a brown trout inadvertently made its way into his wetsuit – but strict EU fishing quotas may have landed him in hot water.
Whitehaven-based culinary whizzkid Mickey Subbuteo braved choppy seas and stormy weather to complete a gruelling 90-mile cross-channel swim between Dover and Calais in just THREE hours.
However, the remarkable feat of endurance was made even more difficult by the unwanted attentions of a seawater fish. Explaining the disruption, Mr Subbuteo elucidated:
“I’d been in the water for a good hour or so, and my wetsuit was beginning to chafe.
“I needed a quick adjustment, and I thought I was back-on-track after loosening up – but lo-and-behold, a rogue trout somehow made its way into my waterproof garment.”
Undeterred and steadfast in his determination to succeed, Mickey continued with the task at hand – and fish in suit – reaching Calais less than two hours later.
Celebrations and commiserations
After reaching the shores of France, Mr Subbuteo’s celebrations were marred by the appearance of EU representatives from the Fisheries Department.
Unbeknownst to Mickey, a snooper ship – employed by authorities to ensure that commercial vessels abide by EU fishing directives – had detected the stowaway seafood in his wetsuit.
After officials confirmed the presence of an undocumented catch, the Gendarmerie was informed and Subbuteo was subsequently arrested and charged with poaching.
Adding insult to injury, Subbuteo’s wetsuit was confiscated as evidence – leaving him to make the embarrassing journey back to Whitehaven in the buff.
“Because I’m a chef, the prosecution is expected to make the case that I intended to sneak back some brown trout in my trunks to serve up to my customers”, explained the crestfallen cuisine master.
“It’s all a misunderstanding, and I look forward to proving my innocence – if I was going to get into the smuggling game, it’d be a contraband cod or a bootleg bream – none of this trout malarkey.”
Subbuteo has been formally bailed on the condition that he refrains from entering international waters, and is expected to stand trial at The Hague at some point in the new year.
If convicted, he faces a punishment of up to one week in the stocks.