THE body of a teenage fisherman missing for almost four months has finally been recovered by police.
Daniel McNeill, 16, from North Shields, Newcastle, was lost at sea after the ‘Homeland’ prawn trawler he was working on with his brother was in collision with the Scottish Viking ferry.
Daniel had been missing since August 5 when the tragedy happened off the coast of St Abbs in Eyemouth, Berwickshire.
His brother Joseph, 20, was pulled from the water by another fishing boat.
But a massive search and rescue operation followed involving more than 20 fishing vessels and lifeboats failed to find any trace of his sibling.
Daniel’s remains were pulled from the sea on Sunday November 7, and a series of forensic tests confirmed his identity.
Enquiries are still being made to determine the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Lothian and Borders Police Detective Inspector Jim Robertson said: “Finally, Daniel McNeill’s family has some closure following his identification and our deepest sympathies are with them at this time as they come to terms with their loss.
“Work is still ongoing to find out what resulted in this tragedy and we will continue to liaise closely with our partner agencies to reach a conclusion.
“Anyone with information that can assist with these enquiries is asked to contact police immediately.”
The Scottish Viking, which sails from Rosyth, to Zeebrugge, Belgium, and when the incident happened the ferry was in service for Norfolkline, which was taken over by DFDS Seaways in July.
The vessel is owned and operated by Italian marine company Visentini.
Gert Jakobsen, director of communications with DFDS Seaways, said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the family of Daniel McNeill at this time.
“We hope that the inquiry by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch will soon be completed to shed light on what happened with this tragic incident.
“Until their investigation is completed, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”