No life­jack­ets on boat that sank, says fa­ther

The Oban Times - - News -

THE fam­ily of a fish­er­man lost at sea af­ter his boat foundered four years ago this week have been told by a for­mer skip­per of the ves­sel that al­legedly ‘no life­jack­ets were aboard’.

A fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­quiry (FAI) to be held in early June will hear the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Scott MacAlis­ter’s death af­ter he was lost at sea when the Speed­well sank on April 25, 2013.

Peter MacAlis­ter and sons An­drew and Glen have con­sis­tently bat­tled against a ‘mean­ing­less’ in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Scott’s death, but nei­ther the court nor the mar­itime agen­cies will raise the boat from the seabed be­tween Inish and Seil.

Peter MacAlis­ter said: ‘A for­mer skip­per has said that when he worked the boat there were no life­jack­ets aboard.

‘This is in di­rect con­flict with part of the ev­i­dence due to be heard at the FAI in that de­fec­tive life­jack­ets aboard the Speed­well were rec­ti­fied.’

A re­port by the Marine Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Board claims that the ‘Speed­well car­ried two con­stant wear life­jack­ets’.

Mr MacAlis­ter con­tin­ued: ‘If the boat is lifted from the seabed, we can find out if life­jack­ets were aboard or not.

‘A diver who has vis­ited the boat said that he saw no sign of life­jack­ets and the flot­sam con­tained no life­jack­ets.

‘Scott was not found – from that it can be as­sumed he was not wear­ing a life­jacket. There were a num­ber of search ves­sels in the area within min­utes of him go­ing down. This mat­ter has now gone way way be­yond be­lief – four years later and we are no fur­ther on.

‘The boat needs to be lifted to find out the facts, other­wise we will never know the truth.’

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