Widow of Scots fisherman who died in fishing tragedy demands safety reforms

The wife of a Scottish fisherman who lost his life in a fishing accident has called for urgent changes to the industry’s safety standards. She hopes that her husband’s death will not be in vain and that other families will be spared from the same grief.

A tragic loss

William Quarm, 54, was one of the two crew members who died when their fishing boat, the Nancy Glen, capsized and sank in Loch Fyne, Argyll and Bute, on January 18, 2023. The other victim was Duncan MacDougall, 46, who was also from Tarbert, the same village as Mr Quarm. The third crew member, John Miller, 34, managed to escape and was rescued by a passing vessel.

Mr Quarm’s widow, Anne Quarm, 53, said that her husband was a “loving, caring and devoted” father to their four children, aged between 11 and 24. She said that he had been fishing since he was 16 and that he loved his job and the sea. She described him as a “hard-working and honest” man who was well-respected in the community.

A long recovery

The bodies of Mr Quarm and Mr MacDougall were recovered from the sunken vessel on March 12, 2023, after a complex and costly operation that involved the Royal Navy, the Scottish Government and the local community. The families of the victims had launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the recovery, which exceeded its target of £259,000.

Widow of tragic Scots fisherman calls

Mrs Quarm said that the wait for her husband’s body to be brought home was “torturous” and that she felt “numb” when she finally saw him. She said that she was grateful for the support and generosity of the public, who helped to make the recovery possible. She also thanked the authorities and the volunteers who took part in the operation.

A call for change

Mrs Quarm said that she was determined to campaign for better safety measures in the fishing industry, which is one of the most dangerous occupations in the UK. She said that she wanted to see more regulation and enforcement of safety standards, such as the use of life jackets, emergency beacons and vessel stability assessments.

She said that she hoped that her husband’s death would serve as a wake-up call for the industry and the government to take action and prevent further tragedies. She said that she did not want anyone else to go through the same pain and loss that she and her children had endured.

She said: “I don’t want William’s death to be for nothing. I want something good to come out of this. I want to make sure that other fishermen are safe and that their families don’t have to suffer like we did. I want to honour his memory and his legacy by fighting for change.”

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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