Deep water craft needed to find plane

ACCIDENT investigators have requested a specialist vessel from outside the UK to help recover the wreckage of the air ambulance which crashed off the west coast of Scotland on Tuesday.

The submersible craft is needed to reach the fuselage of the twin-engine Loganair Islander aircraft, which is lying in deep water near the Mull of Kintyre. Investigators hope the vessel will also enable them to recover the bodies of the pilot, Guy Henderson, 40, of West Lothian, and John McCreanor, a 35-year-old paramedic of Renfrewshire. Both men were the fathers of young children.

Last night Strathclyde Police said that the force helicopter had continued to search the area during the day looking for debris, while officers had also scoured the coastline.

A one mile fishing exclusion zone was imposed around the crash site to preserve the scene. The plane had been on a flight from Glasgow to Campbeltown to pick up a young patient when it went down at 12:15am on Tuesday.

Coastguards said weather conditions had been fine at the time of the accident.

The salvage operation, which also involves the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, is expected to last several days, depending on the weather.

There was no black box on board because of the size of the Islander, which carries only four people.