AN official probe into the sinking of a boat which claimed the life of a fisherman has said both he and the vessel's owner "appeared to have placed insufficient importance on safety".

Scott MacAlister, 40, died when the boat he was skippering, Speedwell, sank off the island of Easdale on April 25. His body has never been found.

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch report said "it is almost certain that Speedwell floundered due to water ingress through the unsecured and unsealed flush-deck hatch to the aft store".

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It added: "Speedwell's owner and skipper placed insufficient importance on safety and were prepared to accept and live with defects and sub-standard equipment."

The MAIB recommended that the boat's owner John Connell take steps to ensure that any vessel he may own in the future is operated safely.