Seven fishermen feared dead

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The Independent Online

As children went to school in the tiny fishing village of the Isle of Whithorn, an air of gloom hung over the coastal community.

As children went to school in the tiny fishing village of the Isle of Whithorn, an air of gloom hung over the coastal community.

Fishing is in the lifeblood of the village, nestling on a rocky harbour on the far tip of the Machars peninsula of Galloway on the west coast of Scotland.

The Streets were quiet as the community steeled itself for the news - which seemed increasingly inevitable - that seven local men were dead.

Many fishermen gathered in the pubs which line the harbour while families were gathering behind closed doors.

The harbour at low tide had a handful of small fishing vessels docked in readiness for the next opportunity to go to sea, but no crews were fixing nets or lobster pots.

On a clear day the Isle of Man, where the Solway Harvester was still being searched for, looms on the horizon.

But today the skies were grey and the view unclear, mirroring the mood of despondency among villagers.

The harbour is one of Scotland's most ancient villages and the community has long known the devastating power of the sea.

But today the thoughts of fishermen, their families and the whole of south west Scotland were inevitably with the seven feared dead, whose faces were so much a part of this isolated village.

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