Published: Friday, 23 January 2015 20:51
Dramatic moments of sinking filmed
Dramatic film footage released yesterday by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency shows crewmen pitched into the sea as their fishing vessel sank under them on Tuesday. The Irish vessel Iuda Naofa, laden with mackerel and returning to port in Derry, got into trouble 48 miles North of the Butt of Lewis in a force 6 wind and rough seas. Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Helicopter R100 arrived at the scene just in time to airlift five crew members off the vessel. The film footage, shot from the helicopter, shows the vessel turning turtle and sinking quickly as men cling to the hull, before they are airlifted from the water. Three crewmen were brought to Western Isles Hospital and received treatment for mild hypothermia. 63-year-old skipper Martin O’Connolly said it took the vessel 35 seconds to turn over, with crew jumping clear for their lives before the helicopter winchman picked them up. O’Connolly, one of those taken to hospital, praised his rescuers and described the support given to them on the islands, especially by the Fishermen’s Mission, as “unreal”. He said: “They looked after us really well. They do a great lot of work that no-one really takes much notice of.”
Read more: Local News for Friday 23rd January 2015
Published: Thursday, 22 January 2015 20:50
Clamour for Minister to visit
Politcians continue to clamour for a visit to the islands by transport and islands minister Derek MacKay MSP, as the storm rages on about ferry service disruption between the islands and the mainland. The latest comment has come from Harris Councillor DJ Macrae, who works as a taxi driver and wants the minister to come to Tarbert and explain how his plans will affect people there. Cllr. Macrae said "Putting all the Stornoway ferry traffic through my ward to leave by Tarbert will have a major impact in the area, causing traffic bottlenecks at Tarbert and Uig. I fully support the call for the minister to come here to explain himself, and it would be good if the MP and the MSP also came along. It is time for positive action to sort this shambles out". Cllr Macrae’s appeal comes hard on the heels of a new statement from Westminster hopeful Alasdair Morrison, who stands for Scottish Labour in May’s UK elections. Mr Morrison accused the Minister of ‘empty rhetoric from behind an Edinburgh desk’ and said the new Task Force offered an inadequate response to a looming crisis. But the Comhairle’s SNP group has commended Mr MacKay's taskforce and its ‘determined focus’, with SNP group leader Donald Manford saying that it's excellent news that Stornoway Port Authority will have its port ready to take the new vessel in the next couple of weeks.
Read more: Local News for Thursday 22nd January 2015