Local News for Wednesday 13th April 2016
Volunteers aim to find missing fisherman
A volunteer team headed by the Barra RNLI lifeboat volunteers aim to set out tomorrow on an inch by inch search of the coastline and waters around Mingulay, in an effort to recover the fisherman missing since the FV Louisa sank in the early hours of Saturday morning. The names of the crew have now been formally released by Police Scotland. Martin Johnstone, aged 29, from Halkirk in Caithness and 27-year-old Chris Morrison, from Leverburgh in the Isle of Harris were both sadly confirmed deceased during the incident. Still missing is skipper Paul Alliston (formerly MacMillan) aged 42, from Lochs in the Isle of Lewis. The survivor, Lachlan Armstrong of Stornoway, has spoken candidly to media about his decision to swim for safety towards the Mingulay shore, rather than staying with the life-raft.
Volunteers are to gather tonight at 7pm in Castlebay Community Hall to plan a search for Paul Alliston co-ordinated by the Barra RNLI team. Local boat owners with time available, and volunteers willing to walk the shoreline, are being asked to join the search. Volunteers from Uist and Eriskay are being offered transport tomorrow morning by RIB across the Sound of Barra. Searches of the area where the boat sank were conducted by the Barra lifeboat on Monday night and Police Scotland said: “The dedication and professionalism displayed by local Coastguard and Lifeboat personnel throughout the incident is to be commended.”
The incident is now under investigation by Police Scotland and the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch, the findings of which will be the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal. Chief Inspector Gordon MacLeod, Area Commander for the Western Isles said: “Understandably, the families involved will seek answers and we hope by carrying out a thorough investigation with the MAIB we will understand the events which lead to the vessel sinking and the loss of life”.
A donations page, set up to support the family of Leverburgh’s Chris Morrison, raised six times its £1000 target yesterday. The GoFundMe page aims to provide for Chris’s two daughters and to ensure that they receive Christmas and birthday presents in memory of their father every year.
Back Sports Arena Official Opening
The official opening of Back Football and Recreation Club has been set for Friday May 30th, with all members of the local community invited. The new all weather sports arena is at Upper Coll, and the official opening is being performed by the Scottish international football legend, Denis Law CBE. The project was made possible with funding from Sportscotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, LEADER, Big Lottery Fund and HIE, A club spokesman said: “We are very fortunate to have many committed individuals helping the youth in our area on a voluntary basis. This facility will be the catalyst to providing the wherewithal to assist us to do even more to keep them interested, and participating in sport for life.”
Monday night’s match in the first round of the ABC cup saw Craig Maclean give Lochs an early lead, but a late equaliser from Colin Morrison took the tie into extra time where it remained 1-1. Ness won 3-1 in the penalty shoot-out to go through to the semi final. The match between Aths and Point was postponed. Tonight’s cup tie between Carloway and Stornoway United has been switched from Goathill and will now be played in Carloway with a 6.30pm kick-off.