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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 12:28 GMT
Body of young storm victim found
Andrew and Hannah MacPherson
Andrew MacPherson was the last of the family to be found
The body of a boy who was lost with four other members of his family in storms on the Western Isles has been found by search teams.

The discovery was made shortly after teams resumed their search for Andrew MacPherson on South Uist.

The bodies of Archie and Murdina MacPherson, their daughter Hannah, five, and Mrs MacPherson's father Calum Campbell have already been found.

Local people had been assisting in the search for the youngster.

Police asked residents who wanted to assist in the search to meet on the island at 0900 GMT to be briefed on the operation.

The search, which included the Stornoway search and rescue helicopter, got under way despite another spell of bad weather.

A group of local divers searching on foot found a child's body lying in shallow water about half a mile from where both family cars were discovered.

It was later identified as that of seven-year-old Andrew.

Archie and Murdina MacPherson
Archie and Murdina MacPherson died in the storms

Western Isles area police commander, Chief Inspector Murdo Fraser, said: "I am greatly relieved to have found Andrew for the sake of the family, friends and the community.

"I have been overwhelmed by the response from the local community, some of whom despite the elements continued to search this morning by their own accord."

He added: "The family will now be able to start the grieving process and try to come to terms with their tragic loss."

The family members were reported missing on Wednesday.

The bodies of Mr and Mrs MacPherson and Mr Campbell were found that day and Hannah was discovered on Thursday.

Primary school secretary Murdina, 37, and self-employed builder Archie, 36, had returned to their native Uist in 2002 with their two children.

Extreme weather

Mr Campbell, 67, was a bagpipe instructor and prolific composer who had won numerous prizes.

The family got into difficulties during the severe storm on Tuesday night as they left their home on South Uist to try to escape flood waters.

In a statement issued through Northern Constabulary, the Campbell family said: "Their families and the whole community are devastated by the tragedy.

"The respective families would like to thank everyone who has helped and ask for their continuing support."

Calum Campbell
The children's grandfather, Calum Campbell

Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson, who is responsible for co-ordinating civil contingencies, visited the Western Isles on Friday.

The minister visited Iochdar School, which Andrew and Hannah attended, "to pledge the executive's support".

She said: "I find myself here under very sad circumstances. I would have preferred to have visited in happier times and meet the pupils and staff and see the good work they have been doing for many years.

"The staff at the school have given so much of their efforts and no doubt will continue to do so and if there is anything the executive can do to assist we will."

School headteacher Mairi MacInnes said: "Our fondest love goes out to the families who have suffered such bereavement."

The clean-up operation was continuing in other parts of Scotland affected by the storms.

About 4,000 homes were still without power on Friday morning with parts of the Western Isles, Skye and the area around Kyle of Lochalsh affected.

A spokesman for Scottish Hydro Electric said efforts were continuing to repair lines and he was hopeful supplies would be reconnected by the end of the day.



SEE ALSO:
Body found in search for children
13 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Grieving relatives speak of loss
13 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Community shock over storm deaths
13 Jan 05 |  Scotland
Third body found in family search
12 Jan 05 |  Scotland


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