THE Scottish Government has stepped in to help to try and recover the bodies of two men who died fishing on Loch Fyne last month.

Duncan MacDougall, 46, and Przemek Krawczyk, 38, were on board the Nancy Glen when it capsized on the sea loch in Argyll and Bute on January 18.

The alarm was raised by their colleague, John Miller, 34, who was pulled from the water by the crew of a passing boat. He explained the two men had been trapped aboard the Nancy Glen which went down in 500ft of water just outside its home port of Tarbert.

It was announced yesterday that the wreck of the prawn trawler would not be recovered by the agency of the UK Government responsible for investigating accidents at sea.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) had been surveying the site to decide if the wreck could be raised but said it could not.

However, the Scottish Government has said it will now work with salvage specialists and the crewmen’s families to support efforts to retrieve the bodies of the missing fishermen.

MAIB chief inspector of marine accidents, Steve Clinch, said: “The MAIB has now completed its review of the data obtained from last week’s underwater surveys of the wreck of FV Nancy Glen.

“From all the evidence collected, we now know enough about the circumstances of the accident for us to complete our investigation, and we do not intend to recover the wreck.

“Our thoughts are with the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk who have been informed of the decision.”

Despite marine accidents not being a devolved matter, the Scottish Government has agreed to examine whether the vessel can be lifted from its position to enable recovery.

It would mean raising the vessel to a position just below the surface to allow divers to enter and operate as safely as possible. The costs of any recovery would also be met by the Scottish Government which means that the £235,000 raised for the operation by the Clyde Fishermen’s Association and Trust can go to the families of the two dead men, who between them left two widows and four children, three of whom are under the age of ten.

Fisheries Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said: “This has been a deeply distressing time for the families of Duncan MacDougall and Przemek Krawczyk.

“In these tragic and extremely exceptional circumstances, with the Nancy Glen having been lost within sight of the family homes and the wider community, it is only right that the Scottish Government intervenes and works with the families and salvage experts to search the vessel.

“The money raised through crowdfunding can go to the families rather than the recovery operation.

“A recovery operation will pose serious logistical challenges, and will need to be undertaken with the safety of divers and others involved uppermost in mind.

“This has been an upsetting time for all those involved, but we owe it to the families of the fishermen who were lost to mount this operation.

“And while there is no guarantee of a successful outcome, I hope our intervention will help bring some closure to the families and friends of Mr MacDougall and Mr Krawczyk.”

Clyde Fishermen’s Association and Trust said yesterday its “greatest thanks” go to the Scottish Government for their commitment.