Search resumes for loch tragedy dad

Ewen Beaton, who remains missing, pictured with his sons Jamie, aged two, and Ewen, aged five

A boat joins the 'recovery mission' in Loch Gairloch

Three children died after a conoe overturned in Loch Gairloch

First published in National News © by

A search has resumed for a man missing after a canoe capsized in a sea loch, claiming the lives of his two young sons and a five-year-old girl.

Ewen Beaton, 32, was among six people, including four children, in the boat when it overturned in Loch Gairloch, near Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands, on Sunday afternoon.

His sons Jamie, two, and five-year-old Ewen died later that night after being rescued by helicopter from the water and airlifted to hospital.

A third child, Gracie Mackay, from Muir of Ord, near Inverness, died in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow on Monday afternoon. Her 35-year-old father and eight-year-old sister had managed to swim to the shore and raise the alarm.

The search for Mr Beaton, from Beauly, was stood down for the day on Monday. He is presumed dead.

His family issued a statement through Northern Constabulary. It said: "We are utterly devastated by what has happened and the loss of our beautiful little boys. We appreciate all that has and is being done by emergency services to find their adoring father, Ewen. It is too difficult to say anything more at this time and we would appreciate our family being left in peace to grieve our terrible loss."

Stornoway Coastguard was alerted to the incident at around 4.15pm on Sunday after Gracie's father and her sister, named locally as Garry Mackay and Callie, made it to the shoreline.

Peter Godding, sector manager for Stornoway Coastguard, said: "It's amazing really, she swam quite a long way in the sea, which is no mean feat. It's pretty incredible that she did survive, with the adult as well. She would have given the police certain information which they didn't have.

"The girl that survived is very courageous and very resourceful to be able to complete a 500-metre swim to shore. I mean, that's no mean feat for an adult but she's achieved that and managed in combination with the other adult to raise the alarm. She's amazing."

When asked about the Canadian canoe the group had been on, he said: "They are quite cheap vessels to purchase and unfortunately it's quite difficult to maintain the stability if you stand up in them."

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