Fisherman FAI To Take Place

19 April 2016, 11:18 | Updated: 19 April 2016, 11:30

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) will be held into the death of a fisherman lost at sea almost three years ago.

Scott MacAlister's family believe his body, which has never been found, remains in the creel boat which sank off Easdale island, Argyll and Bute, on April 23 2013.

The father-of-three, aged 40, of Luing, Argyll and Bute, was the sole occupant of the 27ft Speedwell prawn creel vessel which still lies on the sea bed.

His mother, Lala MacAlister, wants the boat to be raised before the inquiry takes place.

She told the Press and Journal: "What is the point in having an FAI when all the evidence is sitting in the boat? I would hope the boat will be lifted before the FAI takes place.

"I still think my son is on that boat and we will never rest until we know.''

The family will mark the third anniversary of their loss on Monday by scattering flowers in the water at a spot overlooking where the boat sank.

Mrs MacAlister added: "What else can we do? We have no grave to visit.''

A Crown Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that the Crown intends to hold a FAI in relation to this death and will ensure the family of Mr MacAlister continue to be updated as to any developments.''

She said raising the boat would be down to the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch (MAIB) or the owner of the boat.

MAIB investigators found the boat "probably sank'' after water came through an unsealed and unsecured hatch.

In an investigation report published in January 2014, they said other factors included a faulty bilge pump and alarm, out-of-date lifesaving equipment which had not been serviced and was not used, the single-handed operation of the boat which ``seriously compromised'' Mr MacAlister's ability to deal with the situation and him contacting the coastguard only shortly before the vessel sank.

Investigators recommended the owner take steps to ensure any boat owned in the future is operated safely.

An MAIB spokesman said: "We assessed whether or not to raise the vessel at the time of our investigation, but as other evidence was available to help our investigation it was not necessary.''