Lurg Loch search for missing father resumes

A DESPERATE search has resumed this morning for a father of two who is still missing after he fell through a remote ice covered loch in Perthshire while sledging with his family.

• Search for father-of-two missing since yesterday continues

• Man fell through ice sheet of Lurg Loch after sledging with family

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• Emergency crews from Perth, Dundee, Kinross and Lochgelly join together in search bid

The 47-year-old man, who has still to be named, had been on an Easter Monday fun day out at Lurg Loch, near Cleish, when he disappeared beneath the partially frozen surface of the loch.

At the height of the frantic search for the missing man fire crews from Perth, Dundee, Kinross and Lochgelly were joined by two RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopters.

The crews of the two rescue helicopters were deployed to break the thick ice on the surface of the loch by using the downdraft of their rotor blades and firefighters also battled in sub zero temperatures to break the ice so they could deploy sleds and rescue boats onto the loch.

But as darkness fell there was still no trace of the missing man.

Police underwater search teams have now been sent to the area to assist in the renewed search.

Morven McDonald, a watch manager with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Dundee, said that the emergency services had been called to Loch Lurg in the Cleish area of Perthshire shortly before 3pm on Monday following reports that a man was missing after falling through the ice covered loch.

She said: “A full Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) water rescue team and supporting personnel were mobilised to the scene to locate the man. Police, ambulance and two search and rescue helicopters were also called to the incident.

“Emergency services have been working in very cold conditions for several hours to resolve the situation but concerns have heightened with no signs of the man since the alarm was first raised.”

Ms McDonald explained: “Firefighters had to travel to the area on foot as it was a considerable distance from the roadway, climbing a 150 foot ridge to gain access to the loch.

“Around 40 per cent of the water was covered with ice and fire crews initially deployed throw lines and a hose deflation kit into the water.

“A water rescue sled was then used to try and locate the man who had become submerged after it’s believed he fell through the ice.

“Firefighters used ceiling hooks to break up the ice and access the loch with sleds and rescue boats.”

She continued: “The search and rescue helicopters were also mobilised to the incident and used their downdraft to help break through the thick ice covering the loch and improve the passage for two Scottish Fire and Rescue Service boats.

“Sadly despite the intense and concentrated efforts of all the emergency services at the scene the casualty has not yet been located. Police underwater search teams are now searching the water with support from a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service boat and safety team. Firefighters have also used ceiling hooks to dredge below the surface from a rescue sled.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were quickly able to mobilise specialist resources including a full water rescue team and two SFRS boats to this incident. This was a remote location with the loch some way from the roadside and firefighters were only able to reach the incident carrying specialist equipment on foot.

“This appears to be a tragic incident but every effort is being made to locate the man with a full multi-agency response including the SFRS, police, ambulance crews, search and rescue helicopters

and underwater police search teams.”

The loch is only 200 metres long and 150 metres wide and is up to five metres deep in places