Local News for Monday 18th September 2017

No wolves in Lewis – official
Wildlife rescue workers have responded angrily to a report of wolves in the Castle grounds, which they described as ‘sensational and reckless’. The Western Isles co-ordinator of British Divers Marine Life Rescue, David Yardley, used Facebook to slam the Sun newspaper’s report of ‘wolves howling’ in an area described as ‘forest’ opposite Stornoway. A Stornoway Hotel manager had reported the eerie sounds and went to the press with his story, although numerous local sources confirmed the sounds as seals calling in the harbour. David Yardley said: “We confirmed the sounds as grey seals and made this clear to him. We've notified the coastguard and the grounds keeper in the past as to what they were, after receiving a number of calls to an animal in distress. These actions cause confusion among the public that we as BDMLR are required to respond to. The day we don't respond could be the day someone loses a pet. “

Sick passenger taken from ferry
Stornoway and Bragar Coastguard Rescue Teams were called to the ferry terminal on Saturday to help evacuate a sick passenger from MV Loch Seaforth. The casualty had suffered a suspected stroke as the ferry approached the harbour, and was brought from the ferry to a waiting ambulance alongside the pier, and from there on to Western Isles Hospital.

Flag at half mast for former Chief Exec
The Comhairle’s flag is flying at half mast after news of the death of the former Comhairle Chief Executive, Dr George Macleod, who passed away aged 74 on Friday. His funeral is today at Carloway Free Church at 11.30am, with interment at Dalmore cemetery. Dr George was Chief Executive at the Comhairle between 1986 and 1992 and formerly Director of Engineering Services. Convener, Norman A Macdonald, said: "Dr George was a highly respected engineer and director at the Comhairle and also served as Chief Executive during very challenging and difficult times for the Comhairle. He was also an elder and lay preacher in The Free Church over many years. Dr George served his community in many different roles over many years and he was well known throughout the Islands and further afield. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Mairi, his children Christine and Iain, his friends and all who knew him."

Tribute to popular PO couple in Gravir
Tributes will be paid next Saturday to the memory of the late Donald ‘Boy’ and Maureen Macmillan, who passed away together in tragic circumstances last November outside their house at the Post Office, Gravir, South Lochs. Boy and Maureen were known to everyone in South Lochs and involved in many local organisations. The post office at Gravir had been in Boy’s family for the best part of a century and has been closed since the deaths. The community will honour the popular couple at an event organised by Comunn Eachdraidh na Pairc at Ravenspoint on Saturday 23rd September. Two benches inscribed to their memory will be placed permanently outside the café at Ravenspoint with its wonderful view over Loch Erisort. A booklet on the history of the Gob na Milaid light below the cliffs between Gravir and Lemreway – which ‘Boy’ and Maureen were researching at the time they passed away – will also be launched.

Countdown to new swim
A Stornoway open water swimmer is one of two hoping to conquer a new sea route next month, as a fundraising challenge for highland kids to learn about the seas around their coast. Colin Macleod from Stornoway will join Norman Todd from Ullapool to swim from Achlochan by Achiltibuie to Ullapool on Saturday 7th October. The route is in 14 miles of cold highland seas and hasn't been done before, with October sea temperatures adding to the challenge. The pair are supporting the Living Seas Project who have carried out beach cleans on the start and end beaches. All the money raised will go to kids group the highland 'Dolphin Snorkellers', teaching kids how to snorkel and taking them out into the sea to see first-hand how amazing our marine life is and why we need to protect it. The project has already reached 90% of its target £800, and you can add to the total on JustGiving by following the link on our Facebook page. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bigswim