Government to bankroll bid to recover missing fishermen
Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk were on board a trawler when it capsized in Loch Fyne.
The Scottish Government will pay salvage specialists in a bid to recover the bodies of two fishermen missing in Loch Fyne since last month.
The Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB) had been assessing the wreck of the Nancy Glen but announced on Monday that it would leave the vessel in situ.
However, Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing vowed experts will examine whether it can be lifted from its position, more than 450ft below the surface, to allow divers safe access.
Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk, who are presumed dead, were on board the boat when it capsized in Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute on January 18.
The alarm was raised by a third fisherman, who was pulled from the water by the crew of a passing vessel.
Mr Ewing said: "This has been a deeply distressing time for the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk.
"In these tragic and extremely exceptional circumstances, with the Nancy Glen having been lost within sight of the family homes and the wider community, it is only right that the Scottish Government intervenes and works with the families and salvage experts to search the vessel.
"The money raised through crowdfunding can go to the families rather than the recovery operation."
'The money raised through crowdfunding can go to the families rather than the recovery operation.'Fergus Ewing
Mr Ewing said the operation will pose serious logistical challenges and paramount importance will be placed on the safety of divers.
He added: "This has been an upsetting time for all those involved, but we owe it to the families of the fishermen who were lost to mount this operation.
"And while there is no guarantee of a successful outcome, I hope our intervention will help bring some closure to the families and friends of Mr MacDougall and Mr Krawczyk."
The Government announcement came after the MAIB said it would not lift the trawler from the seabed after reviewing data from underwater surveys.
Steve Clinch, chief inspector of marine accidents, said: "From this, and other evidence collected, we now know enough about the circumstances of the accident for us to complete our investigation, and we do not intend to recover the wreck.
"Our thoughts are with the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk who have been informed of the decision."
To date more than £230,000 has been collected through an online crowdfunding campaign to support the fishermen's families and recover the vessel.