Local News for Tuesday 3rd May 2016

Louisa will be raised
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is to request that salvors raise the FV Louisa from the seabed near Mingulay where she sank early in April, as part of their investigation into the circumstances of her sinking. The MAIB is conducting an enquiry into the foundering of the FV Louisa while at anchor off  Mingulay, resulting in the loss of three fishermen, two from the islands. Skipper Paul Alliston is yet to be brought home, despite extensive searches of the area by volunteers and Search and Rescue teams. The enquiry will look into the reasons why water flooded into the boat, whether automatic alarms actually sounded, and why a liferaft did not operate as it should have done. Salvors will wait for a weather window before trying to raise the wreck, which is lying in relatively shallow water and occasionally visible at low tide.

Mòd volunteers wanted
The local organising committee for Mòd nan Eilean Siar is looking for volunteer  stewards to help out during the Royal National Mòd, when it comes to Stornoway between the 14th - 22nd October. Volunteers don’t need to sign up for the whole week – even a half day would be equally welcome.  A briefing meeting will be arranged to offer training for potential stewards. Norman MacDonald, Chair of the Local Organising Committee said: “The Mod, which is the premier Festival of Gaelic language and culture, was last held in the Western Isles in 2011 and attracted approximately 2,800 visitors and a further 2,500 residents attended competitions and concerts. A great deal of management and co-ordinating work is required to ensure that competitions and events run safely and smoothly, therefore we would ask anyone who feels they can give of their time during the week of the Mod to get in touch with us.” For further information and to volunteer, please contact the gaelic team at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on 01851 822615 or colin.morrison@cne_siar.gov.uk
Ballot boxes on the way
Ballot boxes are being distributed throughout the Western Isles in preparation for tomorrow’s day of setting up Polling Stations at 47 centres in the na h–Eileanan an Iar constituency. Community centres, village halls, a bowling club and a drill hall are among the venues being used for voters to cast their votes on Thursday between 7am and 10pm. Each voter will have two ballot papers – one to select their candidate as constituency MSP and one for the Highlands and Islands ‘list’ MSPs, of which seven will represent the area in the forthcoming term of the Scottish Parliament.