No Hope For Tug Crew

The search for the three missing crew members of a tug boat that capsized in thick fog on Wednesday resumed today (21st), but in the knowledge that there is now no chance of finding survivors alive.

Emergency services said the survival time of anyone in the icy water had been "far exceeded".

Skipper Stephen Humphreys, 33, from Greenock, engineer Robert Cameron, 65, from Houston, and Eric Blackley, 57, from Gourock, are presumed dead after their boat went down.

Their tug, the Flying Phantom, ran aground in the River Clyde at Clydebank while towing a cargo vessel to Glasgow in thick fog on Wednesday.

A 37-year-old crewman was rescued and was said to be in "comfortable" condition in hospital.

A spokesman for Clyde Coastguard said: "We are now treating this as a recovery operation rather than a rescue.

"That means that we don't have a great deal of hope."

A major search operation was launched on Wednesday night but was hampered by the dense fog.

At its peak, the search involved 60 people and a dozen boats, and included RNLI boats, Coastguard teams, Royal Navy and Strathclyde Police divers.

A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from Prestwick was scrambled to help but was forced to turn back due to poor visibility.


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