Lifesaving memories of Mervyn
MOTIVATED FUNDRAISING FAMILY DONATES PERSONAL DISTRESS ALARMS TO FISHERMEN IN LEWIS AND HARRIS
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