Fundraiser ‘could recover lost fishermen’

A coastal community at Argyll in Scotland has appealed for government help in recovering the bodies of two missing fishermen.

Skipper Duncan McDougall and Przemek Krawczyk were on board their fishing boat, the Nancy Glen, when she capsized on Loch Fyne on 18 January.

Friends and colleagues believe their bodies are trapped inside the wreck of the boat, which sank close to their home village of Tarbert in Argyll.

Duncan McDougall. Pic: Facebook

Image: Duncan MacDougall. Pic: Facebook

The Clyde Fishermen’s Association is now appealing for financial assistance from the UK and Scottish Governments to bring the men’s bodies back ashore.

It has organised a crowdfunding campaign which has raised more than £150,000 for their families, but says that using the money to salvage the wreck would mean there was nothing left for them.

The chairman of the association Kenny MacNab told Sky News: “If governments bore the cost of raising the wreck, it would go a long way to easing the families pain.

“If we did it on our own, there would be nothing left for the families. I would urge politicians, at Westminster and Holyrood, to take responsibility for the financial cost of raising the Nancy Glen, as a humanitarian gesture.”

Przemek Krawczyk. Pic: Facebook

Image: Przemek Krawczyk. Pic: Facebook

“It’s really important [to recover their bodies] because in other scenarios where people have been lost, they have maybe been far out to sea.

“In this case it’s a bit different because families can actually look out, more or less from their windows, and see where the boat was lost and know their loved ones are lying out there.

“I’ve been instructed by then to make sure that these bodies are returned so that the families can get closure.”

A third crew member on board the Nancy Glen, John Miller, survived after he managed to jump free as the boat rolled in the water before sinking.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is conducting an investigation along with Police Scotland but the MAIB has indicated it has no plans to raise the vessel as part of its enquiries.

The Nancy Glen. Pic: The Carlisle Kid

Image: The Nancy Glen. Pic: The Carlisle Kid

The stricken boat had been trawling for prawns, and enquiries are likely to focus on the pulling of weighted nets along the bottom of Loch Fyne. The practise presents a danger of snagging the nets on the seabed.

When the vessel got into trouble, boats from the local fishing fleet had joined HM Coastguard and other agencies in the search and rescue operation. Many of those involved knew the two missing men, both of whom were fathers of young children and well known in Tarbert.

Katherine Duffin, of HM Coastguard, told Sky News: “When we start an operation like this, an extensive search, we have a very high expectation level that we’re going to be able to find these people.

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“Obviously, as time goes on and nothing is found, then it becomes more emotional for us and more emotional for our volunteers.

“At the end of the day, this is their community, where they live, where they come from. They often know the people who are involved in these situations and, certainly in here on Thursday night, Friday, it was an emotional situation to be in.”