25 February 2023

Divers in tugboat search recover bodies of two men, police confirm

25 February 2023

Divers searching the water after a tugboat capsized have recovered the bodies of two men, police confirmed.

The bodies of the two men were removed from the water on Saturday, the day after the vessel sank in the Firth of Clyde near Greenock, Inverclyde, sparking a major operation.

Police Scotland, the coastguard and RNLI had all been called out to the scene after the boat went under the water at the Custom House Quay.

Efforts resumed again at 8am on Saturday, with divers later recovering two bodies.

It is understood two people were on the boat when it capsized.

The bodies were recovered at about 1.40pm on Saturday, and while formal identification has yet to take place, the families of the two crew men who were on the boat have ben informed.

Police Scotland Chief Inspector Damian Kane, the local area commander, said: “Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the men at this difficult time and I would ask that their privacy is respected.

“I would like to thank the local community for their patience and support as searches were ongoing and as we continue to carry out our inquiries.”

Green MSP for the West of Scotland, Ross Greer, said: “This is devastating news.

“All of our thoughts and prayers are very much with the family, friends and colleagues of those involved.”

He added: “I also pay tribute to the coastguard, RNLI and all those who assisted with the search and rescue effort.

“Investigators should now be given the space needed to look into the circumstances of this terrible incident.

“In the meantime, I offer my condolences and those of the Scottish Greens at this most difficult of times.”

The operation forced the nearby Beacon Arts Centre to cancel performances on Saturday evening, as well as youth theatre and other classes and rehearsals that had been scheduled for Sunday.

The centre announced: “Due to the ongoing incident in the Clyde close to our building, we have been advised by police to cancel tonight’s performances. This includes Milton Jones and Friends, and An Evening with Megan Murray. These will be rescheduled, or full refunds will be provided.

“Our Beacon Youth Theatre and Young Company classes and rehearsals tomorrow morning are also cancelled.

“We currently plan to move tomorrow’s performance from the Malamatina Guitar Quartet to our studio space and will contact customers should it not be able to go ahead.”

The centre apologised to customers.

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