Appeal for volunteers to search for missing Louisa crewman and survivor talks about his ordeal

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Barra Lifeboat are organising a full scale sea and land search for the missing crewman of the fishing boat ‘Louisa’ which sank off Mingulay on Saturday, April 9th.

They are appealing for any boat owners in Uist, Barra and Eriskay who can spare the time, and any other persons, who are willing to walk the shorelines around the area.

The group will meet in Castlebay Hall, Barra on Wednesday evening at 7pm to discuss plans for the search to begin on Thursday.

The lone survivor of the Louisa, reported as 27 year old Lachlan Armstrong, has been talking about his ordeal. The young dad described his ordeal to the Scottish Sun and STV news.

He described the biting cold of the sea and his desperate battle to survive.

Lachlan and his three crewmates, who were named in the national tabloid as Chris Morrison, Martin Johnstone and Paul Alliston, (Police have not yet released the names of those who were lost) had to abandon the stricken Louisa in the early hours of Saturday morning when she started to take on water.

The Coastguard were alerted by a distress call at 3.45am and rushed to the aid of the vessel but in the meantime the crew had to cling to the life raft which Lachlan said failed to inflate correctly.

The young fisherman described how they knew they had to get out of the bitingly cold water in order to survive and that they struggled to keep the raft on the surface of the water.

The numbing cold soon started to hamper their ability to hang on and Lachlan told how he felt he had to risk the 250m swim to try and reach land.

He talked of his devastating sadness that his crewmates had not made it.

Lachlan was eventually found by the Barra lifeboat and the bodies of two of his crewmates were also recovered from the water.