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Salvage team recovers tugboat from Firth of Clyde following fatal incident

The recovery operation for tug Biter which capsized in the Firth of Clyde, resulting in the deaths of two people, got under way on 12 March 2023.

George Taft, 65, and Ian Catterson, 73, lost their lives when their boat sank off the coast of Greenock in February. The bodies of the two men have already been recovered.

It is believed that the tug was escorting a small cruise ship into harbour when it overturned suddenly, with one eyewitness saying it capsized “pretty instantaneously”.

The tragedy happened just outside Greenock’s East India Harbour at about 1530 on 24 February 2023.

An exclusion zone of 200 metres and a drone ban were put in place for the salvage operation.

Biter was operated by Clyde Marine Services. An investigation into the incident by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch has already got under way.

A major search and rescue operation was launched when the boat capsized, involving coastguard rescue teams, a rescue helicopter, several police launch boats and an RNLI lifeboat.

Vessels in the area were also involved in the search when the alarm was raised.

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