Oyster farmer dies after accident on loch

SCOTTISH oyster farmer Hugo Vajk has died after an accident at his farm on the shores of Loch Creran, near Oban.

Fellow workers raised the alarm when Vajk, who ran the award-winning Caledonian Oyster Co with his wife Judith, ended up face down in the water near the shoreline of Loch Creran, the Herald reported today.

Vajk, who was 62, was retrieved from the water late on Sunday afternoon by the Oban RNLI lifeboat and then airlifted, by Coastguard rescue helicopter, to Lorn and Islands Hospital.

His widow told the Herald that her husband was working with others at the site, while she was working at their other site close by.

She said: ‘It was an accident working on the beach. I don’t know the circumstances, but they were working at low tide and then I think, basically, the water was coming up.

‘I was working on the other site, just further along, another worker struggled to get him out of the water, but the lifeboat got him out of the water.’

Vajk, regarded as a pioneer of Scottish oyster farming, was French. He had started an oyster farm on Herm Island, off Guernsey, before coming to Scotland, where his wife is from, in 1995, to run the farm in Argyll.

Dr Janet Brown, editor of the Grower magazine, told Fish Update: ‘Hugo was a super enthusiastic and hard-working oyster farmer and this is tragic news.

‘He was the delighted winner of the best native oyster competition in 2017, 2015 and 2014, but all this was very much a joint venture with his wife Judith and my thoughts are very much with her and their family.  This is also a huge loss to the Scottish shellfish farming sector.’

Picture: Award winning oyster farmer Hugo Vajk

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