Call to account from skipper’s family
The family of the skipper of the tragic Louisa fishing boat have called for those who “failed” the crew to be held to account.
Three men died in what is the Western Isles’ worst fishing disaster for half a century when the MFV Louisa was flooded by a deck hose and went down off Mingulay in April last year.
Andy McMillan – brother of the vessel’s still-missing skipper, Paul Alliston – slammed delays in launching a rescue mission, the nonfunctioning liferaft and a potential problem with the lifejackets,
Mr McMillan said: “The people responsible should be punished.”
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found a catalogue of delays and errors over the sinking of the Stornoway-registered 16-metre-long crab vessel.
There was an “unnecessary delay“of nearly an hour to despatch a helicopter and lifeboat to the scene.
Mr Alliston, 42, Martin Johnstone, 29, from Caithness, and father-oftwo Chris Morrison, 27, from South Harris, died. Lachlan Armstrong, 27, from Stornoway, survived after swimming ashore to rocks.
The report found valuable time was lost trying to verify where the emergency occurred.
The MAIB said a “lack of UK Coastguard network interaction and supervision” contributed to the delayed response.
Mr McMillan said: “These guys relied on the coastguard service but they let them down.”
A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said: “The MCA is continuing to collaborate with the MAIB on the contents of this report.”
“These guys relied on the coastguard service”