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Police divers launched into Loch Fyne today (Wednesday) near the recovery operation attempting to lift the FV Nancy Glen, which sank off Tarbert on January 18 with the loss of skipper Duncan MacDougall and crewman Przemek Krawczyk, who are believed to have gone down with the boat.
The Scottish Government pledged to cover the cost of trying to locate and recover the seamen’s remains.
The prawn trawler is lying 140m (460ft) deep in Loch Fyne, below diving depth, between Barmore Island and Rubha Preasach, within sight of where the crewmen’s families live.
The operation aims to raise the wreck to a depth where divers can search for the missing men. A Scottish Government spokesperson said it is a complex task with no guarantee of success, but it is updating the families as the recovery progresses.
For weeks the research vessel Severn Sea has been clearing away debris using remotely operated underwater vehicles, and a fortnight ago it was joined by the 65-foot tug Handfast and a lifting barge above the Nancy Glen.
The MINA, a fishery protection vessel, was patrolling the waters around the site on Wednesday as the police underwater unit launched a rib into Tarbert Bay from the CalMac ferry terminal.
Campaigners have so far raised more than £280,000 for the men’s wives and children.
The Clyde Fishermen’s Trust said: ‘We would like to thank each and everyone of you who have given so generously at this difficult time. We do not have a target to reach, we will continue to receive donations as long as people’s generosity allows. It will all go to helping the families.’