Relatives of two Fife men missing since their boat capsized in the Firth of Forth were last night coming to terms with news that body parts had washed up on the shore at St Andrews.
Police confirmed that the families of Jason Buchan, 35, and David Stead, 47, were informed after what was described as “partial human remains” were found 21 miles away from where the pair were last seen more than a week ago.
Mr Buchan and Mr Stead have been missing since the 10ft fishing vessel they were in overturned in a squall off the coast of East Wemyss on the afternoon of Monday August 10.
A third man, Birrell Stewart, 30, was pulled from the water by helicopter but later died at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
Police officers had been searching the estuary and coastline ever since, to no avail although that all changed in the last 24 to 48 hours.
Chief Inspector Adrian Annandale, area commander for Levenmouth, revealed that human remains were found by a passerby at St Andrews’ West Sands around 11.30am on Sunday. A second discovery was made there at around 10am on Monday.
“We are currently investigating two separate discoveries of what appears to be partial human remains,” he said.
“Family liaison officers have informed the relatives of two men reportedmissing from East Wemyss on Monday August 10 and will continue to maintain contact with them throughout ourinvestigation.”
It is not yet known if the two separate finds relate to one or two people butMr Annandale did confirm that a detailed forensic examination of “both items” is now under way.
He added: “Police are continuing with searches and specialist divers from Police Scotland’s Marine Unit were deployed to the East Wemyss area over the weekend.”
The latest development came as it emerged friends of all three men, who lived in East Wemyss, have managedto raise nearly £2,000 towards their funerals via a crowdfunding page.
The page was set up by friend Bryan Liddy and quickly smashed its initial £500 target.
It attracted a comment from MrStewart’s sister Rena, who said: “Thanks everyone for raising money for my brother and the boys means a lot.”
It is understood that Mr Stead’s family from Hartlepool, including his daughter Lauren and his sisters Caroline, Michelle, Tracey and Melita, made the trip north last week and are anxiously awaiting further news, as are Mr Buchan’s family and friends locally.
Mr Stead’s sister Caroline said: “We are such a close, loving family. We are absolutely distraught and devastated.”