Loch Awe tragedy stirs up lifeboat debate

A tragedy that left two men dead and two more missing on Loch Awe has led to calls for more lifeboat provision in the region

A tragedy that left two men dead and two more missing on Loch Awe, Scotland, has stirred up a debate on whether more lifeboat resources should be concentrated in the region.

It took the nearest lifeboat over an hour to respond to a 999 call when four friends got into trouble on Loch Awe on Saturday, as it had to be driven from Renfrew fire station, some 70 miles away.

Despite attempts by the fire crew, Oban Mountain Rescue and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the bodies of William Carty, 47, and Craig Currie, 30, were recovered shortly after 6am.

Both men were wearing lifejackets and their companions, William’s brother, Steven Carty, 42, and Thomas Douglas, 36, are still missing.

In light of the tragedy there have been calls to assess the need for a lifeboat in the area, to which Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has responded to say that it is carrying out a six-month review of water rescue provision in the region.

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Both the RNLI and the MCA have said they would be willing to discuss options, although Mark Clark of the MCA said the need “would have to be balanced against the level of danger and other considerations.”