The bodies of two missing fisherman could be brought home to their families after the Scottish Government yesterday pledged to work with salvage specialists to raise the wreck of the Nancy Glen, which sank in Loch Fyne last month.
Following the Marine Accident Investigation Board’s (MAIB) decision to leave the vessel in situ, the Scottish Government has agreed to examine whether it can be lifted from its position to enable recovery.
Skipper Duncan MacDougall and crewman Przemek Krawczyk are believed to be trapped aboard the prawn trawler, which is sitting near Barmore Island, Tarbert, at a depth of more than 460ft.
The boat was lost within sight of the village, where the crew lived with their families. Both men were married fathers-of-two.
A third crewman, John Miller, was rescued by a passing fish farm vessel after it is understood Mr MacDougall managed to get a mayday message out before the boat went down.
Recovering the bodies would mean raising the Nancy Glen to a position just below the surface to allow divers to enter and operate as safely as possible.
The costs of any recovery would also be met by the Scottish Government.
A massive fundraising drive by the local community titled #TT100bringtheboyshome has already raised well in excess of £200,000, including huge donations from other fishing communities. The money was to pay for the cost of raising the wreck and to support the families.
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “In these tragic and extremely exceptional circumstances, it is only right that the Scottish Government intervenes and works with the families and salvage experts to search the vessel. The money raised through crowdfunding can go to the families rather than the recovery operation.
“A recovery operation will pose serious logistical challenges, and will need to be undertaken with the safety of divers and others involved uppermost in mind.
“This has been an upsetting time for all those involved, but we owe it to the families of the fishermen who were lost to mount this operation.
“And while there is no guarantee of a successful outcome, I hope our intervention will help bring some closure to the families and friends of Mr MacDougall and Mr Krawczyk.”
Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents Steve Clinch said that after reviewing the date collected from last week’s underwater surveys, the MAIB knows enough about the circumstances of the accident to complete the investigation without recovering the wreck.