Monday 27 August 2012

Gairloch Canoe Tragedy

The search has resumed for a 32 year old man missing since yesterday on the Gairloch near Ullapool in the West highlands of Scotland but is now being considered a recovery operation.


Yesterday in what are being described as fair and calm conditions, two adults and four children from the east Highlands of Scotland were capsized in what is being described as a six man Canadian canoe while boating in the Scottish sea loch, the Gairloch.

The two men aged 32 and 35, two boys aged  3 & 5 and two girls aged 5 & 8 were capsized for no apparent reason while boating approximately 500 metres from the shore of the Gairloch close to a popular camping and caravanning and water sports location.

The 35 year old man and his eight year old daughter managed to swim to shore without injury and raise the alarm and although there was a rapid response from local boats, lifeboats and air sea rescue, two of the boys aged 3 & 5 died after being airlifted to Raigmore hospital in Inverness and a five year old girl remains there in a serious but stable condition where she is being comforted by members of her family.

The 32 year old man remains missing presumed dead and a current search is still under way. Gairloch and Lochinver coastguard rescue teams have been searching the shoreline and outlying islands, helped by other local vessels and the Portree and Lochinver RNLI lifeboats.

In a cruel twist to the tragedy, although both adults are said not to have been wearing floatation aids, all of the children were.


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