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Police name missing fisherman

POLICE have named the Unst fisherman who went missing off Unst on Monday as 46 year old Karl Anderson, of Marypark North, Baltasound.

The air, sea and land search for Mr Anderson was scaled down on Tuesday afternoon after an all night effort from the coastguard, the Lerwick lifeboat and local vessels.

Shetland coastguard’s helicopter supported by one private boat and the shore-based coastguard rescue team are still looking for Mr Anderson, who set off from Baltasound in his 9.82 metre Kingfisher 33 creel boat Kathleen on Monday morning and has not been seen since.

The Kathleen was seen off the Holm of Skaw on the north east tip of Unst around 8.45pm on Monday with the engine running and no one on board.

The coastguard were alerted and immediately launched search and rescue helicopter SAR102 from Sumburgh who searched the waters north of Unst throughout the night.

They were joined by the Lerwick lifeboat and four fishing boats and salmon tenders, while the Unst coastguard rescue team carried out a shoreline search from just north of Baltasound on the east coast to Wood Wick on the west coast of the island.

Around 8.30am the helicopter flew back to Sumburgh to refuel and was re-launched in the early afternoon to carry on the search with a fresh crew. The lifeboat was stood down at 9.35am.

The shoreside team who had been up all night searching apart from a brief 1.5 hour break in the middle of the night, were given a lunch break at 12.30pm on Tuesday before going out again.

A coastguard spokesman said none of the creels on board the boat had been set, but they were all in the water attached to the leader line when the boat was recovered and taken back to Baltasound.

Police released Mr Anderson’s name after his family had been informed of his disappearance. He had been trying to sell his boat.

Coastguard watch manager Katrina Hampson warned of the dangers of single-handed creel fishing.

She said: “Singlehandedly operating a fishing vessel poses many hazards, and fishermen should always take extra care when working alone. Always tell someone ashore where you intend to fish and when you intend to return, carry a VHF radio and wear a personal floatation device whilst working on deck.”

This is the second lone Shetland creel fisherman to go missing at sea this year. In January 54 year old Neil Smith, of Cunningsburgh, was found a week after he disappeared while working east of Bressay.

Mr Smith’s 10 metre boat Breadwinner was found grounded on Grif Skerry, east of Whalsay, after a huge air, sea and land search several miles from where his body was eventually found.