IT IS impossible not to feel sympathy with the MacAlister family, whose son and brother Scott died when the fishing boat he was working on, the Speedwell, foundered and sank in April 2013.
Scott’s father, Peter, and brothers, Andrew and Glen, have been campaigning since to have a meaningful investigation into the circumstances that led to the tragedy. They could have been forgiven for thinking they had achieved just that when it was announced that a fatal accident inquiry (FAI) was to be held.
They have, quite rightly, slammed the hearing – which began on Monday of this week – for being futile.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said before a shred of evidence was examined that the owner of the vessel would be given immunity from any potential prosecution.
Quite how any investigation can set such parameters before it has even started is beyond me.
The MacAlisters have also been told that no attempt will be made to recover the Speedwell to see if there were safety or seaworthiness issues which could have contributed to its sinking.
Again, surely that should constitute an essential part of any probe into what happened?
The MacAlisters had spoken of boycotting the FAI, believing it to be a smokescreen to blame Scott for what happened and thereby draw a line under the events that took place that day.
As I said, I find it impossible in the circumstances not to agree with that sentiment.
Scott MacAlister died when the fishing boat Speedwell sank.