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Hebrides News


There were delays until a coastguard helicopter and lifeboat were sent to the scene.


The sub-contracted liferaft servicing firm’s made an error in providing an empty gas bottle - meaning the liferaft never inflated.


New tests are to be carried out following concerns that officially approved lifejackets may keep unconscious casualties face down in the water.


Mr McMillan said: “There was nothing on their side that night - the lifejackets and the liferaft just did not work.”


Paul was the skipper of the Lewis-owned vessel which flooded and went down at anchor some 13 miles south of Barra in April 2016.


Andy McMillan highlighted his brother went into the almost vertical, flooding wheelhouse to to get lifejackets for the four crew abandoning the crab boat.


The boat's liferaft did not inflate and the crew were left in the cold sea.


The crew were all aware the bilge alarm had been disconnected - apparently due to being regularly set off by large amounts of thawing bait.


Mr McMillan said a common practice on fishing boats is for crew members to work long hours whenever they could as bad weather could disrupt their earnings.


He added: “Paul would never have worked them to fatigue.


“Fishermen are not guaranteed a wage so the crew take advantage of the opportunities to work and earn when the weather is good.”


“They make the most of it while they can.


“Fishermen are self-employed - if you don’t work you don’t earn.”


“Paul was fair to everyone. He never worked any crew member harder than himself.”


Crew “let down” by safety organisations

27 July 2017

The family of the missing skipper from the MFV Louisa which sank off Mingulay are “disappointed” at the length of time it took for the investigation report to be published.


Andy McMillan - the brother of 42-year-old Paul Alliston - also known as Paul McMillan said they were anxious “to know what had happened but we feel everything was dragged out.”


He said the crew were “let down” by very organisations they relied on for their safety and rescue.