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Old 21 March 2009, 08:14   #1
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Tragic accident Scotland

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/7956521.stm

Very sad - 4 men went out in a small boat on Loch Awe. Rescuers could here them shouting but as viz was only 15' due to dense fog they took some time to find them.

All 4 are dead - and they WERE wearing lifejackets - it's really terrible!!!
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Old 21 March 2009, 12:59   #2
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All 4 are dead - and they WERE wearing lifejackets - it's really terrible!!! [/QUOTE]

Very sad, I hope we are able to find the others who are still missing. I notice Codders you have seen they had lifejackets, the press may have this but were they bouyancy aids or full lifejackets, I appreciate the cold would be the main issue here so only full kit would keep them going over a time in the water and how many of us wear it. I was out today with PFD's and just a wind/water top and normal trousers but this again highlights how terrible it gets and probably very quickly
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Old 21 March 2009, 13:05   #3
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Terrible news
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Old 21 March 2009, 13:07   #4
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They would probably have been far better off with fishermans style floatation suits.
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Old 21 March 2009, 16:50   #5
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Seems very late to be crossing a loch at 11.00pm. Not sure if there was a full moon or not, but the whole thing is tragic.

These lochs are very cold, even after a hot summer day, so the temperature must have been crippling. A flotation suit would have helped, but in the dark, it would disorientating. We'll hear in due course as and when more facts come out.
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Old 21 March 2009, 18:42   #6
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Its just down the road from here and funnily enough I passed both ways on the road just before it happened last night.
There are lots of places folk camp beside the loch and fish so its not that late really if you are night fishing.
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Old 21 March 2009, 19:32   #7
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Yeah! The helicopter woke me up as it flew over my house - or close to it anyway (I'm only 3.5 miles from the southern end of L. Awe). I looked out and it was really foggy and though the helo was low, judging by the sound, I couldn't see any of its lights. Pretty hopeless conditions for an aerial search I would think.

It seems to happen every year in L. Awe. As I understand they were returning from an hotel (pub) no doubt the MAIB will blame the alcohol. It's all very sad.
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Old 22 March 2009, 00:38   #8
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I presume that the rescue chopper and other shore based emergency services don’t carry thermal imaging gear, even hand held stuff which is becoming less costly these days. (we even have one at work).

The poor souls could only have been 3 to 400 yrds from shore max! Thermal imiging equipment may well of saved lives on this occasion with the very poor visibility.

Very sad.
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Old 22 March 2009, 04:38   #9
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The local Police helicopter has thermal gear, not sure if both military choppers available have it but you would assume so.
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Old 22 March 2009, 09:25   #10
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If they have been in the water for some time I suspect their thermal image would barely show up.

I can't see any British rescue helicopters not having them on board!!!
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Old 22 March 2009, 11:08   #11
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Just been reading that the emergency services had lifejacket shortages, is this true?

I know the southern emergency services have well equipped and trained crews from RNLI, FIRE AND POLICE inflatable boats as well as some very good volunteer teams. Does Scotland have none similar for insure work?
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Old 22 March 2009, 11:37   #12
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Time and distance are the enemy. Renfrew fire station where the boat is based is about two hours from Loch Awe, even if they were hitched up ready to go when the call came.
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Old 22 March 2009, 11:45   #13
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Time and distance are the enemy. Renfrew fire station where the boat is based is about two hours from Loch Awe, even if they were hitched up ready to go when the call came.
Agree, any news on equipment shortages?
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Old 22 March 2009, 12:16   #14
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Agree, any news on equipment shortages?
The crew at Renfrew are well equipped with modern boats, drysuits etc. They can be seen training from time to time on Loch Lomond. I think any reference you saw to equipment shortage would be that the local fire crew probably didn't have access to any water rescue kit (and may not be trained in that area of work).
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Old 19 April 2009, 16:50   #15
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MAIB Preliminary Examination...

The MAIB have decided only to perform a Preliminary Examination in this case.
Quote:
Synopsis
A group of friends were on a camping and angling trip near Dalmally on Loch Awe. They had set up camp and decided to use their small boat to visit a pub on the opposite shore. After spending some time in the pub, they attempted to use the boat to return to their campsite. Thick fog had developed and at 0300, a member of the party who had stayed at the campsite woke and heard calls for help from the Loch. He attempted to guide his friends back to the shore by lighting fires and using lights from their vehicles, which were parked nearby. This was not successful and he called the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) for assistance.
The FRS alerted other emergency services and Police, FRS, Ambulance and Coastguard Rescue Teams attended. A Search and Rescue Helicopter was scrambled, but thick fog prevented it from getting close to the Loch. An FRS water rescue unit was called for and, on arrival at the Loch, searched for and recovered two casualties from the water. Despite the efforts of medical teams, they could not be revived. The two other men and the boat could not be found.
There is not enough information to be certain what caused this accident. It is likely that the boat was relatively small and that it was overloaded by carrying four passengers, an outboard engine and a fuel tank. Navigating the boat back across the Loch would have been extremely difficult in the thick fog.
Action taken:
MAIB has investigated many accidents where alcohol has been a contributory factor, and this case emphasises the increased risks of attempting to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol. It is unlikely that any new lessons can be learned from this accident.
There has been some controversy in the Scottish press about the delay in bringing a rescue boat from Renfrew. I am surprised that the MAIB don't think that consideration of how rescue on inland water is organised is a matter worthy of further investigation and discussion.


The press reports at the time all said the guys were not drunk and had very little to drink in the pub. Yet the MAIB draws the conclusion that "this case emphasises the increased risks of attempting to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol." Glad to see that they are providing a logical argument to justify their findings, as ever!
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Old 19 April 2009, 17:03   #16
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I am surprised that the MAIB don't think that consideration of how rescue on inland water is organised is a matter worthy of further investigation and discussion.
I attended a conference several years ago which looked at dealling with the safety cover provided on Loch Lomond. It was pretty disjointed esp the fire service cover, this was before they became involved in water safety cover i should add.
I would agree that unless things have changed not just on Loch Lomond then perhaps there is scope for investigation.
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Old 19 April 2009, 17:23   #17
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I attended a conference several years ago which looked at dealling with the safety cover provided on Loch Lomond. It was pretty disjointed esp the fire service cover, this was before they became involved in water safety cover i should add.
I would agree that unless things have changed not just on Loch Lomond then perhaps there is scope for investigation.
My understanding is that legally the fire service has no obligation to provide inland water rescue (but does in floods) and that technically the police are responsible - but the fire service do what they can. This is why it is Strathclyde and Central police forces which provide the grant support for the Lus rescue boat.

The problem of course is that there are so many inland loch's in Scotland that covering them all with short response times would be impractical. Sods law says wherever you put a boat it will be in the wrong place; although there may be an argument that Loch Awe justifies some sort of rescue cover - and I believe there is a local "campaign" on to get a volunteer crewed boat.

Actually there is a case that some of the attraction of the "remoteness" in Scotland would be lost if there were rescue boats here there and everywhere. You need to be self reliant - to my mind that creates an extra degree of adventure - otherwise we might as well all go to Loch Lomond.
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Old 19 April 2009, 17:34   #18
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One problem that was highlighted at the conference was if your boat caught fire in a certain area then there would be a squable regarding who's responsibility it would be. I'm sure the matter has been cleared up by now...

The Fire service is now a rescue service and i would imagine that does include inland water.
i Know they have done the training. What they don't want to do is interfere with the sea side of things as that is coast guard / rnli .

I'm sure there are others better qualified to say exactliy what they are responsible for.
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Old 19 April 2009, 17:40   #19
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There has been a fair amount of controversy and a paper led campaign to provide a safety boat on Loch Awe since the incident.
There has also been a lot of misinformation about response times etc depending on whether you are for or against providing a boat.
Even with the latest incident you are still much much more likely to be killed driving to Loch Awe than in a boat floating on it.
Without first hand information from the people involved I would take most of the information being bandied around with a pinch of salt, even the "official" information as it is mainly coloured by the various agendas.
I can state with confidence that stations in Argyll are in the main not trained for water rescue, hence the boat from Renfrew. However even stationing a boat in Loch Awe still means it can be up to 25 miles away from an incident as the loch is around this length.
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Old 19 April 2009, 18:02   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K&S
One problem that was highlighted at the conference was if your boat caught fire in a certain area then there would be a squable regarding who's responsibility it would be. I'm sure the matter has been cleared up by now...

The Fire service is now a rescue service and i would imagine that does include inland water.
i Know they have done the training. What they don't want to do is interfere with the sea side of things as that is coast guard / rnli .

I'm sure there are others better qualified to say exactliy what they are responsible for.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/7998331.stm
http://www.safe-tay.co.uk/content/view/20/35/
http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/uksar.pdf (see s4.2 on p10, and 6.1 and 6.2 on p12).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceB View Post
There has been a fair amount of controversy and a paper led campaign to provide a safety boat on Loch Awe since the incident.
There has also been a lot of misinformation about response times etc depending on whether you are for or against providing a boat.
Even with the latest incident you are still much much more likely to be killed driving to Loch Awe than in a boat floating on it.
Without first hand information from the people involved I would take most of the information being bandied around with a pinch of salt, even the "official" information as it is mainly coloured by the various agendas.
Which is why I would have thought a supposedly independent investigation would have been justified.
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