Two dead, one missing from Scottish fishing boat
THE Hebridean fishing community was in mourning today following the loss of the fishing boat Louisa, in which two crewmen died and a third is still missing.
A fourth member of the crew was rescued and taken to hospital and is said not to be seriously injured.
The alarm was raised early on Saturday when the Stornoway registered boat sank off the Western Isles.
All four crew members are thought to have got into their life raft but only one successfully made it ashore, the Fishermen’s Mission believes. Two bodies were found later.
Finlay Macleod, superintendent at the Fisherman’s Mission in Stornoway, said the men were all being supported by the life raft as the vessel sank but the water was too cold and two crew members believed if they stayed with the life raft, as they are taught to do, hypothermia would have set in.
They thought when they saw the shore they could swim to safety, but sadly only one man made it.
Macleod said: ‘Everybody’s really traumatised. It’s an absolute tragedy. On behalf of the mission, I’ve been in touch with all the families concerned in Lewis and Harris.
‘My colleague in Scrabster has been in contact with the family of the crewman in Thurso who didn’t survive. We’re reaching out to them.’
Clyde Fisherman’s Association (CFA) wrote online: ‘On behalf of all of the CFA our thoughts are with the crew, family and friends of the Louisa. RIP to those brave men who lost their lives.’
Chief Inspector Alastair Garrow of Police Scotland said: ‘All of the partners are determined to do everything they can to help the family and the community deal with this tragedy.
‘Police Scotland have an inquiry 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.’
Police Scotland and the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch will carry out a joint investigation into the incident and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.
The UK coastguard received a distress call from near the island in the Outer Hebrides at around 3.45am on Saturday, April 9, saying that four crew members were in danger.
A lifeboat from Barra RNLI, roughly 12 miles away, and a rescue helicopter from Prestwick are continuing the search for the missing sailor.
The vessel, which is thought to be based on the Isle of Lewis, activated its emergency beacon near Mingulay alerting emergency services.
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said the conditions were relatively mild in the area at the time.