Ex-soldier devastated as 1,000 pet fish die in South Shields power cut

Michael Dennett has lost his tropical fish after a power cut.

Michael Dennett has lost his tropical fish after a power cut.

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AN ex-soldier has been left bereft after a power cut claimed almost all the tropical fish ina £2,000 collection he created to cope with stress.

Former Lance Bombardier Michael Dennett started to fill his fish tank as therapy for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

When I found them, I just put them down the toilet.

Michael Dennett

The 41-year-old returned to his home in Whitehead Street, Tyne Dock, South Shields, to find fewer than a dozen of his 1,000 pets still alive after the cut on Tuesday.

He says that, while neighbours received texts to tell them of the disruption, he did not, missing out on the chance to move the fish - including albino plecos, mollies, guppies and barbs - to friends’ homes until the supply returned.

Michael, who was in the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery for 18 years, says he is unable to work because of his condition.

He said: “When I came back to the flat, my neighbour upstairs had said there had been a power cut but it had been restored. I was never given any explanation.

“When I found them, I just put them down the toilet. I’m absolutely devastated.
“For two years I’ve been bringing my fish along. Most of them since they were just a centimetre long.

“I was hoping for compensation but they said there was nothing they could do about it.”

A Northern Powergrid spokeswoman confirmed a fault on an underground power cable caused a cut for around 293 customers in South Shields at about 4.24pm on Tuesday and said it understood how inconvenient an unplanned interruption to power can be

She added: “To reduce the impact, where possible, we restore power by switching electricity through alternative routes on our network.

“On this occasion we were able to restore power to 76 customers within two minutes and all customers were back on within 40 minutes.

“We were saddened to hear of the death of Mr Dennett’s fish.

“We’ve spoken with him directly and explained that we do not compensate for any losses in situations such as this.”