Local News for Monday 11th April 2016
Islands mourn fishermen lost at sea
The islands are in mourning today after tragedy at sea claimed the lives of two men, with a third still missing. The UK Coastguard received a distress alert just before 3:45am on Saturday, when the emergency positioning beacon (EPIRB) of the Stornoway-registered FV Louisa was activated near Mingulay. Stornoway Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and Barra lifeboat were sent to the scene, and one man was recovered and taken immediately to hospital. Two other men were later recovered from the water but were sadly deceased. A fourth crew member remains unaccounted for. The fishing vessel had sunk at the scene. Searches for the missing fisherman continued for most of the weekend, with the rescue helicopter from Prestwick, coastguard volunteers from Uist and Barra and other fishing vessels also joining the search, which included the coastline of Mingulay. Stornoway Coastguard volunteers provided back-up in Uist, and the Police Scotland Air Support Unit operated from Benbecula airport, which was opened to provide support.
Chief Inspector Alastair Garrow said: “All of the partners are determined to do everything they can to help the family and the commmunity deal with this tragedy. The next of kin of all the men have been informed. Police Scotland have an enquiry team working alongside other agencies and the known circumstances will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal. There will be further investigations necessary to fully establish what has happened.” Coastguard officials said an investigation would be carried out together with Police Scotland and the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch (MAIB). Mark Rodaway, National Maritime Operations Commander for UK Coastguard said: : "This has been a tragic incident which will impact on the local community. Our thoughts are with the families affected."