Life­sav­ing mem­o­ries of Mervyn

MO­TI­VATED FUNDRAIS­ING FAM­ILY DO­NATES PER­SONAL DIS­TRESS ALARMS TO FISH­ER­MEN IN LEWIS AND HARRIS

The Oban Times - - News 11 - EMMA CRICH­TON ecrich­ton@oban­times.co.uk

Dun­can MacInnes, man­ager with the Western Isles fish­eries train­ing as­so­ci­a­tion, is con­fi­dent the equip­ment will saves lives.

He said: ‘If you are wear­ing one of these de­vices, the res­cue ser­vices will be with you al­most im­me­di­ately.

‘There’s no ques­tion about it, even wear­ing a life­jacket you could be in the sea and no- one knows you need help un­til you don’t come back in the evening. Iden­ti­fy­ing the po­si­tion of a ca­su­alty at sea as soon as pos­si­ble is of para­mount im­por­tance.’

Mr MacLeod’s 18-year- old daugh­ter, Amy, threw her­self into fundrais­ing events af­ter her fa­ther’s death and helped to raise thou­sands for na­tional char­i­ties be­fore switch­ing her fo­cus to fish­er­men’s safety.

She said: ‘All the money raised was go­ing to all these dif­fer­ent char­i­ties but we didn’t know what was hap­pen­ing with it or who it was help­ing be­cause they were such big or­gan­i­sa­tions. I am a lot hap­pier now the money is go­ing to help fish­er­men in the com­mu­nity and know­ing it will ac­tu­ally make a dif­fer­ence on the is­land.’

Amy’s mother, Norma MacLeod, said her fam­ily is pas­sion­ate about the fish­ing in­dus­try: ‘ Be­cause we live on an is­land, there are so many ac­ci­dents and peo­ple are lost at sea. With these bea­cons it should be eas­ier to search for some­one and save a lot of time if an ac­ci­dent did oc­cur. My hus­band was a fish­er­man for many years.

‘In Bern­era you are used to be­ing around the sea. He was al­ways out at sea and we were al­ways out at sea with him.

‘We know how hard it is try­ing to mak­ing a liv­ing at the fish­ing. It’s not al­ways easy for fish­er­men to get spare money to buy things, so we thought we could help and give them some­thing back. We will keep on fundrais­ing as there are a lot of fish­er­men who could do with this de­vice.’

Even­tu­ally, the fam­ily hopes to sup­ply all fish­er­men in the Western Isles with the safety bea­cons.

A SAFER FU­TURE: creel­men from Lewis and Harris were among the first to re­ceive life­sav­ing safety equip­ment, paid for by fundrais­ing by Norma MacLeod, front left, and her daugh­ter, Amy MacLeod, front right. Cen­tre is Dun­can MacInnes, man­ager with the Western Isles fish­eries train­ing as­so­ci­a­tion

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