South Scotland

Major search under way for speedboat off Galloway coast

Port Logan
Image caption The men have not been seen since leaving Port Logan on Saturday morning

A large scale search is under way for two men missing in a speedboat off the coast of Dumfries and Galloway.

Two helicopters, coastguard rescue teams and several lifeboats are involved in the operation to find the men, who are aged 46 and 35.

They have not been seen since setting off on a leisure trip from Port Logan at 09:00 on Saturday.

Police said their destination was not known but they were headed in the direction of Stranraer.

The alarm was raised at 18:15 on Saturday when the pair failed to return to Port Logan.

Peter Irwin, RNLI operations manager at Donaghadee in Northern Ireland, said: "We believe it is a black Fletcher speedboat, about 18 feet long.

"Two persons were on board. One was wearing a dry suit. We believe both were wearing lifejackets and at this stage the search is still concentrated off the Mull of Galloway."

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said rescue teams took part in a carefully planned search overnight but nothing was found.

She said the search was based on the vessel's known and projected movements.

Image caption Computer map used to co-ordinate the lifeboat search

Coastguard rescue teams from Portpatrick, Stranraer, Ballantrae, the Isle of Whithorn and Bangor in Northern Ireland were involved in the operation.

They were joined by lifeboats from Port William, Stranraer, Donaghadee, in Northern Ireland, and Ramsey and Peel on the Isle of Man.

Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Prestwick and Caenarforn in Wales have also been scrambled to help.

The coastguard spokeswoman said the search resumed earlier after crews swapped and vehicles re-fuelled.

Insp Claire Walker, of Police Scotland, confirmed that the force was working with rescue teams to trace the men.

She said: "We can confirm that Police Scotland is supporting a search operation after a 46 year-old man and a 35 year-old man launched a speed boat at Port Logan with the intention of going on a leisure trip.

"Their destination was unknown, however, it is believed the boat was launched at around 09:00 on Saturday 6 May from Port Logan in the direction of Stranraer.

"Since the matter was reported to the coastguard at 18:15 on Saturday evening, we have been working with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the RNLI to trace the men safe and well.

"Inquiries are ongoing."

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