Published: 27/12/2017 07:00 - Updated: 22/12/2017 08:52

Celebration of life for Applecross fisherman


Alasdair MacLeod
Alasdair MacLeod's life will be celebrated in the new year.

A celebration of the life of an Applecross fisherman is to be held in the new year by his family following the discovery of his body after a tragedy at sea.

Police confirmed the body of a man recovered from the shoreline in the Staffin area of Skye on Saturday, December 9 is that of Alasdair Macleod (57).

The prawn fisherman was reported missing on November 20 after his boat, Varuna, was found on rocks north of Applecross Bay.

Police said there are no suspicious circumstances and a report has been submitted to the procurator fiscal.

His family has used Mr MacLeod’s Applecross Life blog to update well-wishers on the latest sad developments and to thank members of the public for their support.

They wrote: "Ali’s body was identified much more quickly than we’d expected; we had been warned that it would take several weeks to do this using DNA. However, it was suggested that dental records might be used instead. By Monday evening the fiscal’s office had phoned to say that ID and post mortem were complete and his death certificate could be issued."

Mr MacLeod’s wife, Alison, registered his death, the cause of which has been determined as "drowned while creel fishing".

The family wrote: "We believe he had finished with the creels for the day and was on his way back to the mooring when he went overboard. All the prawns had been tubed and were in the vivier tank. We were told that the Varuna was travelling at around five knots when she grounded on Saint Island, which is much faster than she would have been going if Ali had been shooting creels.

"The Marine Accident Investigation Board is investigating what happened and will issue a report.

"We had already decided that we would organise a celebration of Ali’s life in Applecross, before a private cremation in Inverness the following day, and that we would eventually scatter his ashes in the Inner Sound. We had planned to go ahead with the celebration early in the new year, whether his body had been found or not, but when the identification went ahead so quickly we briefly hoped that we might be able to move this to before Christmas. However, there is too much to organise for this to be realistic and Applecross is so busy with visitors during New Year week that finding accommodation for family and friends would have been impossible. So the plan is to hold the celebration on January 4 at the Clachan Church."

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