28 February 2023

Men who died after tug sank named by police

28 February 2023

Two men who died after the tugboat they were on capsized have been named by police.

A major rescue operation was launched after the vessel capsized while assisting a cruise ship off Custom House Quay, Greenock, Inverclyde at about 3.30pm on Friday.

The bodies of George Taft, 65, from Greenock, and Ian Catterson, 73, from Millport on the island of Great Cumbrae, were recovered at about 1.40pm on Saturday February 25.

Police Scotland is investigating the circumstances of the incident with the assistance of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Chief Inspector Damian Kane, Police Scotland Greenock area commander, said: “Our thoughts are with George and Ian’s families and friends, and I’d request their privacy at this difficult time.

“As our inquiries continue there will be an increased police presence in the area. I thank the local community for their support and understanding.”

Police Scotland, the coastguard and RNLI were involved in the rescue operation.

Efforts will be made to recover the tugboat in the coming days, police said.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out its own inquiries. 

Retired seaman Kenny Kemp, who worked with Mr Taft at a firm in Wales, paid tribute to his friend.

He told the Daily Record: “I have a lot of memories of George – a very good seaman and great friend.

“He worked at Holyhead Towing for many years. He liked to cook and was a quiet reserved guy.

“I have spoken to him many times since I retired and we always had good banter about times working together. He’ll be sadly missed.”

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