Aug 27 2012
The search for a man missing after a canoe accident in which his two young sons died is now a "recovery mission", the Coastguard said.
Six people from two families - two men and four children - were on board the boat when it capsized in Loch Gairloch, near Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands, on Sunday afternoon.
The brothers, aged three and five, died last night after being plucked from the water and airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.
A search for their father has resumed, although rescuers are now looking for a body.
A five-year-old girl from the other family is seriously ill after being hauled from the seawater loch. She was initially airlifted to Broadford Hospital in Skye, but was transferred overnight by rescue helicopter to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill in Glasgow, where her parents are said to be with her.
Her 35-year-old father and eight-year-old sister managed to swim to the shore and alerted Stornoway Coastguard to the incident at around 4.15pm on Sunday. The girl was uninjured and is now being cared for by relatives.
A man who co-runs the nearby Sands Caravan and Camping site in Gairloch, Wester Ross, said he and a friend found the five-year-old girl face down in the water. James Cameron, 34, said: "We were just coming in and heard there was a girl missing, so we went out and actually found her. We found her face down, she was unconscious. She had her buoyancy aid on, it was keeping her afloat but it wasn't keeping her head out the water."
Mr Cameron said there was much activity in the area as the search continued for the missing man, adding: "I think the people involved were on a day trip from Beauly and Muir of Ord. There were two dads and four kids."
Mr Cameron said the incident has left the local community stunned: "Everyone is devastated."
Northern Constabulary confirmed that two families, who have not been named but are from the East Highland area, were involved in the incident. Police said the group were in a six-man Canadian canoe.