THE cost of recovering bodies from the fishing boat Nancy Glen will be met by the Scottish government, fisheries minister Fergus Ewing announced yesterday.
The boat sank in Loch Fyne, Argyll, last month, with the loss of two men, Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk. A third crew member, John Miller, was rescued by a passing fish farm boat.
The circumstances of the tragedy are still unclear, but the accident happened within sight of Tarbert, where the crew and their families lived. The men had been prawn fishing in the loch, and conditions at the time were described as good.
Following the Marine Accident Investigation Board’s (MAIB) decision to leave the 40ft vessel in situ, the Scottish government has now agreed to examine whether it can be lifted from its position to enable recovery, the Campbeltown Courier reported.
This would mean raising the vessel to a position just below the surface to allow divers to enter and operate as safely as possible.
Fergus Ewing said: ‘This has been a deeply distressing time for the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk.
‘In these tragic and extremely exceptional circumstances, with the Nancy Glen having been lost within sight of the family homes and the wider community, it is only right that the Scottish government intervenes.
‘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.’
MAIB chief inspector of marine accidents Steve Clinch said: ‘The MAIB has completed its review of the data obtained from last week’s underwater surveys of the wreck of FV Nancy Glen.
‘From this, and other evidence collected, we now know enough about the circumstances of the accident for us to complete our investigation, and we do not intend to recover the wreck.’