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Hebrides News


Police are continuing their investigation into how two men died in a tragic diving accident very close to land in Barra.


Iain Ruairidh MacDougall and Ryan McGuckin got into difficulties while diving about 250 metres from shore.


Mr MacDougall’s home overlooks the spot where the incident occurred.


The alarm was raised at 11.20am on Saturday by the skipper of the small ferry boat taking people to Kisimul Castle in the bay.


He saw the incident unfolding and contacted coastguards when the two divers failed to resurface.


Inspector Jane Nicolson said: "Our enquiries are continuing but there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.


“A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal as is standard in these cases."


She thanked the emergency services - Barra lifeboat, coastguards, rescue helicopter, Scottish Ambulance Service as well as people in the local community who assisted in the search.


The area where the accident occurred was too shallow for the lifeboat to get close so RNLI crew used two small inflatables to get close.


One man was recovered by a local diver. The other by the lifeboat.


The divers’ boat - a Orkney fastliner - drifted ashore to the shore below Mr MacDougall’s home.


Barra coastguard rescue volunteers and local people undertook a search of the shore around the bay.


Stornoway coastguard helicopter swept the area.


Search efforts were hampered by the dark coloured sea caused by large amounts of fresh water from recent heavy rainfall running out of two rivers and mixing with the salt water.


Police inquiries continue into Castlebay diving deaths

31 July 2017

The small bay where the tragedy occurred