PURBECK ISLE TRAGEDY: Wreck to be left on sea bed as a memorial

Dorset Echo: SAD LOSS: Jack Craig SAD LOSS: Jack Craig

THE wreck of a fishing boat which sank in seas off Portland will be left as a ‘lasting memorial’ to three fishermen who lost their lives.

Dorset Police have also confirmed that officers who have been co-ordinating the search for the bodies of the two missing crewmen will not commission a dive to the wreck.

The Purbeck Isle fishing boat went missing off Portland Bill on Thursday and sparked a major hunt for three fishermen: David McFarlane, Robert Prowse and Jack Craig.

The body of Mr McFarlane was discovered on Friday and the boat’s wreck was confirmed nine miles off Portland Bill, 50 metres below the surface, on the same day.

But crewmen Mr Prowse, aged 20, from Weymouth, and Mr Craig, aged 22, from Portland, have not yet been found.

Dorset Police have said that their bodies are unlikely to be resting with the wreck of the boat and there were ‘significant safety concerns’ associated with diving to such depths.

It is the families wish that the boat will remain in its final resting place, police said.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Jez Noyce said: “We have considered the families’ wishes in making this decision, and there are significant safety concerns with diving to this depth and at this location.

“We hope that members of the public will also respect the families’ wishes to leave the wreck as a memorial to their loved ones.

“Our sympathies are with the families of Robert Prowse and Jack Craig as well as the family of David McFarlane whose body has been discovered.”

Dorset Police continue to investigate the incident.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is also conducting an independent safety investigation into the causes of the accident.

Gig aids fund

THE DOLMEN will be playing a special gig in aid of the Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund on Sunday, June 3.

The gig will start at 3pm in the King’s Arms on the harbourside.

The gig is free but donations will be taken on the day for the fund. They will be selling copies of their new CD with 50 per cent of the profits going to the fund and a special version of their hit A Fishermen’s Song will be recorded on the day and available to download afterwards. All the proceeds will be going to the memorial fund.

The original Wessex Folk Festival line up for the afternoon has been moved to The Belvedere Inn in High West Street.

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