Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Army Cadets

Fourteen-year old Kaylee MacIntosh from Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, joined the Army Cadets with the aim of becoming a soldier. Her ambitions were not to be fulfilled, as she drowned whilst out on exercise with the Army Cadets in the Outer Hebrides last August.

On August 3rd, 2007, the weather was very poor, with an unseasonable force 7 wind lashing the Western Isles. The sea was whipped up by the strong winds, and local seamen stayed ashore that day. Nonetheless, three rigid-inflatable boats set out from South Uist into Loch Carnan, a sealoch on the island's east coast. One boat overturned.

A head-count was held, but a mistake was made, meaning it took about 45 minutes for someone to realise that Kaylee was missing. The emergency services searched for her, to find her underneath the upturned boat. Kaylee was flown to hospital in Stornoway, 60 miles away, but declared dead on arrival.

Today, the Marine Accidents Investigation Branch published a detailed report, (PDF file) which lists a catalogue of errors. The girl's parents may seek a prosecution, but that decision lies with the Procurator Fiscal in Stornoway. Mr and Mrs Macintosh feel that the Army has failed in its duty of care towards their daughter.


  1. My heart would be aching as well.  So young to lose to a drowning that didn't have to ahve happened.

  2. Their first mistake was going out on that storm in the first place, I'm sure!!!


  3. what a tragedy for this to happen to a child so young.

  4. I remember you reporting on this last year Guido and thought then how idiotic of those who made the decision to go out in such dreadful weather.  How a mistake was made in the head count would be interesting to hear.  For goodness sake!  How was that possible?
    Such a young life taken forever with so much potential ahead of her.

  5. How tragic, poor girl.  I am not one to condone suing but in this case I feel her parents have more than enough reason to go ahead with a lawsuit.

  6. Dearest Guido,
    Oh my goodness how sad!
    Way too sad!