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April 20th 2023

A four-man team of Mowi salmon farmers came to the rescue of 53-year-old Skye resident, Domhnall MacLennan's boat capsized in frigid waters off the Isle of Skye earlier on Wednesday 5th April. Mr MacLennan was twenty minutes into a solo angling trip in the waters off Cheesebay, North Uist, when the swell picked up and and caused his 10ft dinghy to become swamped with water and capsize.

In a discussion with the West Highland Free Press, Mr MacLennan explained how he was thrown into the water and forced to rely on his lifejacket whilst holding on to the boat's upturned hull. As fear of hypothermia began to set in, the angler noticed a Mowi fish farm boat in the distance, and fortunately, its skipper had spotted him.

Skipper Michael Cawley and his team on the Mowi vessel Beinn Bhreac were quickly beside Mr MacLennan and pulled him to safety, just as the angler was losing feeling in his legs and beginning to suffer from spasms.

The Mowi crew, all trained to deal with emergency situations, were able to get Mr MacLennan out of his wet clothes and into a survival suit, while also helping him to regulate his breathing and increase his core body temperature. Alongside Cawley, the Mowi crew was comprised of Lewis Grey, Douglas Macdonald and Ryan Macdonald.

The crew of the Beinn Bhreac

The vessel sailed to nearby Leverburgh in Harris, where they'd notified emergency services of their impending arrival, allowing Mr MacLennan to be quickly taken to hospital in Stornoway.

Mowi workers later returned to the scene to recover Mr MacLennan's dinghy.

A Mowi spokesperson said: "Mowi's salmon farmers and support teams work in some of the most remote parts of the coast and are often in a best position to offer first assistance to boaters in distress. We are very happy to hear that Domnhall is doing well after his rescue and that he appreciated the assistance provided by our team members".