Beinn Bhreac crew rescue fisherman in the Sound of Harris - MOWI - Scotland

Beinn Bhreac crew rescue fisherman in the Sound of Harris

Left to right: The crew of Beinn Bhreac – Ryan Macdonald, Michael Cawley, Lewis Gray, Douglas Macdonald

We are extremely proud to share the story of how the crew of the Beinn Bhreac was able to rescue a keen fisherman who had gotten into difficulty in the Sound of Harris.

Donald MacLennan was on holiday in Cheesebay in North Uist for Easter. A keen and lifelong sea angler, Donald had taken out his 10ft dinghy to go fishing in the evening. After 20 minutes he got into difficulty and the dinghy capsized. Donald was thrown over the boat into the water with the boat on top of him.

Luckily for Donald, he was spotted by Michael Cawley, skipper of the Beinn Bhreac, who immediately set off with crew members Ryan Macdonald, Lewis Gray and Douglas Macdonald to help.

Within minutes the crew had reached Donald and successfully lifted him out of the icy water and into the safety of Beinn Bhreac. Following their training, the crew removed his wet clothes and put him in a survival suit. They also gave him hot tea and helped him to regulate his breathing as he was suffering spasms and there was a real risk of hypothermia setting in.

The crew sailed to Leverburgh where emergency services were waiting to provide treatment and take Donald to hospital in Stornoway.

Speaking about his rescue, Donald MacLennan said: “There are often strong opinions expressed throughout the west coast of Scotland and its islands concerning fish farm developments in our coastal waters.

“Having grown up living next to the Cheesebay sea sites and watched their development over a number of years for community benefit by Mowi and its predecessors, little did I know then of the debt of gratitude I now owe it.

“Had it not been there and the heroic Beinn Bhreac crew of Michael, Ryan, Lewis and Douglas not had cause to be out working on the evening of Wednesday 5 April 2023, then my fishing dinghy capsizing would very likely have had a tragic outcome.

“Myself, my wife and young daughter, together with my wider family and friends, offer you all our eternal thanks for my safe rescue.”

Donald MacLennan. Photo credit: Willie Urquhart / West Highland Free Press

Mowi’s salmon farmers and support teams work in some of the most remote parts of the coast and are often in the best position to offer first assistance to boaters in distress. We are very happy to hear Donald is doing well after his rescue and that he appreciated the assistance provided by our team members.

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