Local News for Friday 15th September 2017

Body recovered is missing tourist
A body recovered in the Valtos area, while emergency services were searching for a missing tourist last month, has been confirmed as that of German national Torsten Kulke. Police said that there were no suspicious circumstances and that a report would be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. The 48-year-old was reported missing from his home in Germany on Monday, July 31st , having travelled to the Western Isles. His body was discovered on Saturday, August 12th following extensive searches which involved coastguard volunteers and other emergency services over several days. Inspector Jane Nicolson of Stornoway police said: "Our thoughts remain with Mr Kulke's family and friends at this very sad time. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the members of the public who assisted with information, as well as the various partner agencies who helped with the search activity."

Loose screw caused ferry pier crash
A single loose screw was responsible for a ferry crashing into Lochmaddy pier last September, causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of repairs and disruption to service. The crash of the MV Hebrides into Lochmaddy pier almost a year ago has been under investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, who yesterday reported that the loss of a grub screw from with a servomotor caused control of the ferry’s port propeller to be lost. The master attempted to control the ferry’s movements but he was unable to prevent it from running over several mooring pontoons and briefly grounding. There were no injuries but the ferry was damaged and had to be taken out of service and repaired in dry dock. MAIB said the problem was compounded because an alarm recommended by the manufacturer, Rolls Royce Marine, had not been fitted, and service instructions weren’t immediately available to engineers. In addition the bridge and engine room teams weren’t sufficiently prepared to deal with the loss of control in confined waters. MAIB has recommended that Rolls Royce Marine check its processes and that CalMac keep a documentary record of safety critical system upgrades. CalMac should also introduce drills and plans so crew are better able to deal with propulsion failures.

Sunday cinema – not for now
There’s to be no Sunday opening of the An Lanntair arts centre for the time being, after a consultation raised the possibility that Sunday cinema and other activities might be offered for a trial period from November. An Lanntair yesterday issued a statement that said: “As the major arts centre and a creative and community hub on the Isle of Lewis, we believe it is important that we listen to our audiences, and that we try our best to serve all their needs. To help us understand audience demand, during the summer we carried out a consultation to gauge the level of interest in access to the arts centre on Sundays. The responses showed some considerable support for Sunday opening (and) a significant majority of the members responding to our consultation have told us that they would be in favour of a Sunday opening trial.” The statement went on to say that meeting of the board this week agreed to a possible trial in the future, but that, for the time being, the Board has decided not to announce a Sunday trial at An Lanntair.

Westside Run
Westside Runners celebrate ten years of their 10k, 5k and run, walk and jog this Saturday, with an 11am start from Shawbost Old School and a choice of routes and paces to suit all participants. Registration is from 9.30am and there’ll be refreshments and prizegiving after the race, with some excellent prizes promised. The event started in 2008 with a fun run which set off from Bragar School and finished at Shawbost. It now follows a circular route with a recognised 5k and 10k distance.