The police report on the Ruaig drowning of 1860
Transcription of the police report on the Ruaig drowning of 1860.
Courtesy of Argyll & Bute Archives
In February 1860, Charles MacLean and brothers Duncan and Archibald MacInnes left Skipnish, the harbour in Ruaig, to check their lobster traps. Their skiff measured just over sixteen feet. With Duncan at the helm and Charles and Archibald on the oars, they rowed four or five hundred yards to the south-east.
They then put three reefs in the sail, hoisted it and steered to the west of Soay. The wind was from the south, very strong but steady. As the sea was so heavy, they decided to shorten sail. While Archibald was doing this, water came aboard. They dropped the sail and in a moment the boat capsized.
Duncan managed to struggle ashore but the other two were drowned. When found by two Ruaig men, he was so weak he was unable to speak and had to be assisted home.