Highlands & Islands

Gairloch canoe deaths: Search for missing father resumes

Ewen Beaton, sons Ewen and Jamie, and Gracie Mackay
Ewen Beaton, sons Ewen and Jamie, and Gracie Mackay

Searches for the body of a man missing after a canoe capsized killing his two sons and a young girl has resumed.

Ewen Beaton, five, Jamie Beaton, two, and Gracie Mackay, five, died in hospital following the accident at Loch Gairloch in the Highlands on Sunday.

Shoreline searches for Ewen Beaton, 32, were stood down on Tuesday evening.

Northern Constabulary said efforts would continue over the coming days involving officers and coastguards and for the foreseeable future.

Police, RNLI and coastguard have been involved in the latest shoreline searches.

Coastguard personnel also used a boat to search the north coastline off Longa Island and up to Peterburn, a remote area between Gairloch and the village of Melvaig.

They later searched from Rubha Reidh, where there is a lighthouse, to Peterburn.

The Beatons, from near Beauly, and Mackays, from Muir of Ord, were on a day trip and had gone out in a Canadian canoe.

After the craft overturned, Gracie's sister and father managed to alert the coastguard when they reached the shore.

On Tuesday tributes were paid to the young children who lost their lives.

In a statement, the Mackay family said: "Grace was a funny, caring, thoughtful daughter and granddaughter, full of life who loved animals and being outdoors.

"She adored her family and was our beautiful angel. We are devastated by the loss of our best friend."

Meanwhile, police and coastguard teams have been searching the shoreline for Mr Beaton, between Melvaig and Big Sands Caravan and Camping Site in Gairloch.

"Further searches are planned over the coming days and will continue for the foreseeable future," a Northern Constabulary spokesman said.

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