Highlands & Islands

Scene of capsized dredger Aquila 'wrong' says RAF

Anglian Sovereign coastguard boat at the site of the sinking of Aquila
Image caption Anglian Sovereign coastguard boat at the scene of the sinking

The coastguard gave the RAF the wrong location of a capsized Cumbrian scallop dredger, an inquiry has heard.

Three of the crew died and one man survived when the Aquila overturned near Kilmory, in Ardnamurchan.

Flt Lt Michael Rodgers, an RAF air rescue coordination controller, said Clyde coastguard first gave the location as Kilmory, in Argyll.

When the error was realised, a Royal Navy helicopter was stood down and Stornoway coastguard helicopter sent.

Skipper Tony Hayton, 45, died along with Peter Hilton and Thomas Sanderson, both aged 52, in the incident on 20 July 2009.

Tim Rowley, 33, also from Maryport, survived.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into their deaths has been hearing evidence at Fort William Sheriff Court.

Flt Lt Rodgers, was on duty at the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre at RAF Kinloss in Moray.

He said that both the Royal Navy helicopter stationed at HMS Gannet, at Prestwick, and Stornoway coastguard helicopter should have been sent to the scene because of the number of casualties.

The officer told the FAI on Thursday: "If Clyde coastguard had told us the first position was wrong and here is the correct one we would have been in a position to advise them.

"There are several Kilmory's on the west coast of Scotland and the Clyde coastguards had misidentified the Kilmory."

The inquiry continues.

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