Local News for Monday 23rd January 2017

Alex’s £1000 walk to Stornoway
Charity walker Alex Ellis Roswell had a record day as he made his way to Stornoway on Saturday, collecting £1,000 in a single day to bring his total collected in the Western Isles close to £2,800. With sunny weather helping him along the road from Tolsta, he was also accompanied on the entry into town by pupils from Laxdale school, and welcomed at Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat station, where he presented the total collected so far in the islands. A Stornoway RNLI spokesman said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to Alex over the past week in Harris and Lewis - his RNLI fundraising bucket totalled £2,773...and that is a record breaker! Thank you Alex!” Alex will now take a few days rest before heading south again to complete his fundraising walk through the islands, before returning to the mainland where he continues on his mission to walk the entire coastline of the UK and Ireland in aid of the RNLI.


 
Rescue helicopter goes viral
The airlift of a sick captain from a Dutch fishing vessel on Thursday has gone viral, with video of the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter team at work spreading around the internet. The vessel called Stornoway Coastguard for help at 1.30pm on Thursday, with the skipper ‘seriously ill’ and the vessel 80 miles north of Cape Wrath. The skill of the winchman and crew was displayed via the Bristows and MCA pages on Facebook, as the sick man was taken off the deck on a stretcher. He was taken to Stornoway and onward to Western Isles Hospital by ambulance.
 
Isles FM off air
Isles FM remains off the air today as a major transmission issue is examined by mainland-based engineers. We will update when there is some positive news to report.
 
Lord of the Isles off the route
The MV Lord of the Isles is carrying out this morning’s 6am service from Lochboisdale, but will then be suspended until further notice as she heads to dry dock for emergency repairs. CalMac are advising passengers for Uist to travel via Uig to Lochmaddy.  While the service is suspended, additional sailings will operate between Eriskay & Ardmhor to allow all customers intending to travel to/from Lochboisdale to connect via the Oban-Castlebay service. That service is itself disrupted today due to strong southerly winds forecast.

Tarbert bus station seating ‘anti-social’
Anti-social behaviour has been blamed for a decision by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to remove seats from the bus station waiting room in Tarbert – but elderly residents are the ones feeling the pain. Islands MSP Alasdair Allan has raised the matter with the Comhairle after residents reported having to stand for up to an hour as they wait for buses. Dr Allan has called on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to reinstate seats in the waiting room, which currently has only two fold-down seats. A petition has been signed by more than 250 Harris residents, and Dr Allan said: “Many elderly people use this area to wait for buses, often for more than an hour, and I do not believe it is unreasonable to ask that they are able to do so with a basic degree of comfort; especially in the colder winter months. The fact this petition was able to raise more than 250 signatures in a matter of weeks is ample evidence of the strength of feeling.”
 
Team gold for Connor
Stornoway runner Connor Maclean had an outstanding debut at international level on Saturday, when he ran in Cardiff as part of the Scottish squad in the Celtic Nations Cross Country championship. He took third place in the under-23 event and helped Scotland to a team gold at the same time.