Local News for Friday 3rd August 2017

Growing concern for missing tourist
Land and air searches have continued in the Western Isles by emergency services looking for German tourist Torsten Kulke, who was last seen when dropped off by a taxi near Aird Uig at about 6pm on Friday. He has not had booked accommodation and is not believed to be carrying camping equipment. The 48-year-old man was reported missing by his wife in Germany on Monday. Search activity this week was co-ordinated by Police Scotland working with volunteers from Coastguard teams and Hebridean Mountain Rescue. Yesterday coastguard volunteer teams from Bragar, Stornoway and Ness joined Rescue helicopter R948 with the search moving southwards towards the Mangersta area.

Inspector Jane Nicolson said: "We are increasingly concerned about Torsten's safety and wellbeing and I must urge anyone with information about his whereabouts to get in touch as soon as possible. Torsten may have travelled further afield on Lewis, and while searches so far have focused on the Aird Uig area I would urge people elsewhere on the island to get in touch if they believe they have information which could assist.” Mr Kulke was wearing a white top, khaki trousers, heavy walking boots and carrying a rucksack. He is described as being 6ft 3in in height and of medium build with light brown hair. Anyone with information should make contact with Police as soon as they can by calling 101, quoting reference NH 2952/17.

Ferry crowding shows tourism boom, MSP
Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan says the increased demand for ferry sailings shows that visitor numbers to the islands are at an ‘all-time high’ and has welcomed Calmac's decision to pilot a third sailing for Saturday evenings on the Stornoway – Ullapool route. The late Saturday sailing begins this weekend, leaving Stornoway at 10pm and offering minimal catering services and no onward public transport connections. Dr Allan said: “This will provide some much needed additional capacity over the next three weeks. Tourist numbers appear to be at an all time high with, for example, the number of motor-homes using this route now 10 times what they were a decade ago. Increased tourism brings obvious economic benefits but this should not hinder islanders' ability to get to and from the mainland. Ultimately, this shows the importance of investment in new vessels and the record levels of funding being allocated to ferry services."