Body found in search for man who disappeared during Christmas fishing trip

UK

A body has been recovered three weeks into the search for a missing father feared drowned in a Christmas fishing tragedy that claimed the life of his friend.

Greig Stoddart, 44, disappeared following an overnight fishing trip to Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire with Ian McBurney, 55, on 23 December last year.

The alarm was raised on Christmas Eve following concern for the pair, with the body of Mr McBurney recovered on Boxing Day.

The search continued for Mr Stoddart, with Police Scotland coming under fire over its handling of the case.

Family members criticised the force, claiming searches were not carried out every day.

A video shared online by a relative also appeared to show two officers walking around the dam but no search activity on the water.

At the time, Mr Stoddart’s father, Jock Stoddart, told Sky News: “We just want them to find Greig. We want him home.”

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On Monday, a Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed a body was recovered from Gartmorn Dam at around 5pm on Sunday.

The spokesperson added: “He has been identified as a 44-year-old man reported missing in the area on Sunday 24 December 2023.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

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It is understood Mr Stoddart and Mr McBurney used a small boat to sail across to an island on the reservoir and may have got into difficulty on their way back to the mainland.

In response to the criticism, Police Scotland said searches had been carried out whenever possible – with underwater searches postponed for a time due to weather conditions and safety reasons.

The force added that where it was not possible for the dive and marine unit to use a boat, searches still commenced using ropes along the shoreline.

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