Fishing boat sinking probe team release vessel images

The Louisa
The Louisa
The Louisa
The Louisa

Investigators probing the sinking of a fishing boat off the Western Isles with the loss of crew members have issued images of the stricken vessel being lifted from the seabed.

The Louisa sank while at anchor near the island of Mingulay, south of Barra, early on April 9.

The bodies of Martin Johnstone, 29, from Halkirk, Caithness, and Chris Morrison, 27, from Stornoway, Lewis, were found shortly after the boat sank.

Fellow crew member, Paul Alliston, 42, from Lochs, Lewis, remains missing despite several major land and sea searches.

Fourth crew member, fisherman Lachlan Armstrong, 27, from Stornoway, swam to shore and clung to rocks before being rescued by lifeboat.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out an investigation into the tragedy along with Police Scotland.

As part of the probe, the Louisa has been raised and is being transported to Glasgow for further examination.

Chief inspector Gordon MacLeod said previously: "Understandably, the families involved will seek answers and we hope by carrying out a thorough investigation with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch we will understand the events which lead to the vessel sinking and the loss of life."

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch spokesman said: "Fishing vessel Louisa was raised on Sunday and is now on a barge to Glasgow, where we expect she will arrive on Tuesday. Preparations will then be made so that our inspectors can continue with their investigation.

"Our investigation aims to establish why Louisa sank and why lives were lost. A full and detailed report will be published at the end of our investigation.

"If we identify any safety issues during the investigation that require immediate action, the chief inspector of marine accidents will issue a safety bulletin or make recommendations as appropriate."