Local News for Monday 11th April 2016
Islands mourn fishermen lost at sea
The islands are in mourning today after tragedy at sea claimed the lives of two men, with a third still missing. The UK Coastguard received a distress alert just before 3:45am on Saturday, when the emergency positioning beacon (EPIRB) of the Stornoway-registered FV Louisa was activated near Mingulay. Stornoway Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and Barra lifeboat were sent to the scene, and one man was recovered and taken immediately to hospital. Two other men were later recovered from the water but were sadly deceased. A fourth crew member remains unaccounted for. The fishing vessel had sunk at the scene. Searches for the missing fisherman continued for most of the weekend, with the rescue helicopter from Prestwick, coastguard volunteers from Uist and Barra and other fishing vessels also joining the search, which included the coastline of Mingulay. Stornoway Coastguard volunteers provided back-up in Uist, and the Police Scotland Air Support Unit operated from Benbecula airport, which was opened to provide support.
Chief Inspector Alastair Garrow said: “All of the partners are determined to do everything they can to help the family and the commmunity deal with this tragedy. The next of kin of all the men have been informed. Police Scotland have an enquiry team working alongside other agencies and the known circumstances will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal. There will be further investigations necessary to fully establish what has happened.” Coastguard officials said an investigation would be carried out together with Police Scotland and the Marine Accident and Investigation Branch (MAIB). Mark Rodaway, National Maritime Operations Commander for UK Coastguard said: : "This has been a tragic incident which will impact on the local community. Our thoughts are with the families affected."
Read more: Local News for Monday 11th April 2016
Local News for Tuesday 12th April 2016
Tartan cyclist reaches islands
Tartan Explorer Josh Quigley will cycle through Stornoway today as he rides 1500 miles around the edge of Scotland to raise awareness of mental health issues. Josh Quigley is being supported in his adventure by the charity See Me, and will be welcomed to Stornoway by their community champion Murdo Macleod, who has arranged a visit to the Western Isles Association for Mental Health, before heading to the Callanish Stones. Murdo said: “I think it is important to support Josh as the cycle journey he is undertaking is a metaphor for the recovery journey that we are on following major mental health trauma and breakdown.” Eleanor Ogilvie, See Me community manager, said: “The most recent statistics showed the suicide rate for men was more than two and a half times that for women. Men can find it hard to speak out about how they are feeling, often for fear of the reaction they will face due to the stigma that still surrounds having a mental health condition. Everyone needs to know it is okay not to be okay, and it is important to speak about mental health, as Josh is showing”.
Read more: Local News for Tuesday 12th April 2016