Wester Ross wind turbine tribute to missing fisher, 57

Varuna wind turbine in Coigach, named after Alasdair’s creel boat
Varuna wind turbine in Coigach, named after Alasdair’s creel boat

A wind turbine in Wester Ross has been named ‘Varuna’ in memory of a missing Applecross fisherman.

Coigach Community Development Company (CCDC) named the turbine after the creel boat belonging to Alasdair Macleod, 57, who is feared dead after his vessel was found aground rocks last Monday with the engine still running.

The company held an official launch at the weekend to reveal the turbine’s new name, honouring the community’s friend and supportive ally.

The Coigach Wind Turbine has been in operation since April.

Iain Muir, chairman of CCDC, spoke of the strong connections the two communities have as a result of Mr Macleod’s generous support.

Prawn fisherman Mr Macleod was chairman of Applecross CCDC.

Mr Muir said: “Our two communities worked together. We both have community development companies and Alasdair’s wife, Alison, is Applecross community development officer. She worked closely with us.

“We share the same concerns and experiences and share the same solutions and support each other. Alasdair was a part of that whole thing. We installed a community wind turbine and they did their bit for us.

“They wrote to the Highland Council and gave support when applying for planning permission.

“They were constantly lending their support to it.”

The community had published a campaign across social media urging residents to provide suitable suggestions for the new wind turbine’s name.

Mr Muir added: “We got a wide range of suggestions – some light-hearted, some serious, and then someone suggested the Varuna, thinking of how we would mark our respect for a friend and an admirable man who fought for our community as well as his own.

“The campaign attracted a lot of attention. We not only named it after his boat but the meaning of the boat, a reference to the majesty of sky and sea, justice and truth.

“It’s a very emotional
and heartfelt response in full recognition of the difficulties our communities face.

“We have a lot of prawn fisherman in the area, just like Alasdair, and it’s difficult to think that maybe one of them might not come back one day.”