Search For Missing Fisherman Scaled Back

19 January 2018, 17:44 | Updated: 19 January 2018, 17:45

coastguard search

A major search for two fishermen missing after their vessel capsized has been scaled back.

The alarm was raised by a third man who was pulled from the water of Loch Fyne by the crew of a passing boat at around 6pm on Thursday.

He told rescuers his boat had capsized and there were two more fishermen in the water, off the Argyll and Bute coast.

Despite efforts of those on scene to keep it afloat, the 40ft fishing vessel has sunk.

A major search rescue was launched, but more than 20 hours later the men had still not been found and the operation began to be scaled back.

Julie-Anne Wood, head of maritime operations for HM Coastguard, said: "Sadly we have been unable to locate the two missing fishermen.

"Our thoughts are with all those involved."

Inspector Julie McLeish added: "We are in regular contact with the missing men's families.

"It is a very distressing time for them and the local community as a whole.

"The search will continue until dark tonight and will resume again at first light tomorrow."

Tighnabruaich, Arran and Cambeltown RNLI Lifeboats were sent to the sea loch, alongside the HM Coastguard Prestwick helicopter and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Tarbert, Kames, Inverary and Crinan.

Campbeltown lifeboat and local vessels continued searching through the night, with the assistance of a vessel with underwater capabilities.

Coastguard teams and RNLI lifeboats then rejoined the search on Friday, along with the coastguard helicopter from Prestwick.

It is understood all of the Tarbert fishing fleet have also gone out to help with the search efforts.

A spokesman for Tarbert and North Kintyre Churches said: "This is a close-knit fishing community and everyone is absolutely devastated by what has happened.

"The Church of Scotland and Free Church of Scotland are working closely with Matthew Ramsay of the Fishermen's Mission in Argyll to support the community and the emergency services personnel involved in the search operation.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this heart breaking incident."

The casualty who was recovered from the water was transferred to Mid Argyll Community Hospital in Lochgilphead, where staff describe his condition as stable.

Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) are carrying out a joint investigation to establish what caused the incident.

The MAIB said they are investigating the capsizing of the vessel, named the Nancy Glen.