Highlands & Islands

Gairloch canoe capsize: Third child dies in hospital

A third child who was among six people on board a boat that capsized on a west Highland sea loch has died in hospital.

Five-year-old Gracie Mackay from Muir of Ord was rescued after the boat overturned off Gairloch on Sunday.

Police confirmed she passed away at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow on Monday afternoon.

Two brothers, Ewen Beaton, 5, and two-year-old Jamie also died in the tragedy. Their father, Ewen, 32, is still missing, presumed dead.

'Utterly devastated'

Gracie's father and her eight-year-old sister swam to shore.

It is understood the girl reached the shore shortly before her father, aged 36, at about 16:15, and managed to alert the coastguard.

A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said: "This is a very difficult time for Gracie's family and they have requested their privacy to be respected."

Meanwhile, a Beaton family statement said they were "utterly devastated by the loss of our beautiful little boys".

It said: "We appreciate all that has and is being done by emergency services to find their adoring father, Ewen."

The families on board the Canadian canoe had been on a day trip from their homes in Beauly and Muir of Ord.

Ewen and Jamie Beaton were airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, but Northern Constabulary later confirmed they had both died.

The search has been stood down for the day but shoreline searches will resume on Tuesday

The search resumed for their father on Monday morning but the coastguard said it was now being treated as a recovery - rather than a rescue - mission.

Ewen Beaton was a Primary 1 pupil at the 61-pupil Teanassie Primary School, near Beauly.

Acting head teacher Alison Donald said: "As we are a small community, the school, parents and the wider community will feel this loss deeply."

James Martin, chairman of the school's parent council, said: "The Beatons are a well known and highly-respected family and the impact of their loss will be felt throughout the community."

The coastguard believes the canoe capsized several hundred metres from the shoreline, between a small island and the beach.

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