Highlands & Islands

Inquiry into sinking of Louisa off Mingulay continues

Image caption The Louisa was believed to have started taking on water, forcing the crew to abandon the boat

Investigations have been continuing into the sinking of a fishing boat off Mingulay in the Western Isles in the early hours of Saturday morning.

One of the four crew of the Louisa was rescued by a lifeboat after swimming for shore and then clinging to rocks.

Two men were found dead and the fourth, who also swam for shore, is missing.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch's examination of the incident is ongoing, while further searches for the missing man are under review.

The boat, which was used for crab fishing, was understood to have taken on water, forcing the crew to abandon ship.

Ch Insp Gordon Macleod from Police Scotland said: "Our thoughts are very much with the families at this time. It is tragic accident for the community to deal with but primarily for the families that are affected. We have officers working with them and keeping them up-to-date with inquiries as they go on.

"We are obviously wanting to establish what has happened here and we are working very closely with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

"We will be looking at the safety around the boat and looking to establish what happened that led to this tragic accident."

Finlay MacLeod, superintendent of the Fishermen's Mission in Stornoway, said: "The four crewmen ended up in the water but with the cold and the exposure, hypothermia started to set in and two of them decided to swim to the shore, which they could see.

"During that swimming one of them drifted away from the other and he was lost whilst the other one made it to the shore."

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