Sister of missing man ‘distraught’ after boat tragedy

David Stead
David Stead

The family of a man missing after the boat he was in capsized off the coast of East Wemyss say they are devastated by the tragedy.

Hopes are fading for David Stead (47) who was one of three men on a 10ft boat which overturned in the Firth of Forth on Monday.

David went to see family in Scotland and liked it so much he ended up staying

He and friend Jason Buchan (35) are still missing following the incident, in which a third man, Birrell Stewart (30), lost his life.

David, a keen fisherman, was from Hartlepool, where he still has a large extended family including four sisters and a daughter he was devoted to.

He moved to Scotland, where he has relatives, about two years ago and had been living in East Wemyss.

Members of his family travelled from Hartlepool to the scene to lay flowers after hearing the news.

Speaking on behalf of the family, David’s sister Caroline Rigg (43) said: “We are such a close, loving family. We are absolutely distraught and devastated.

“We only rang him on Friday and Saturday. He had been to a music festival and was saying he was enjoying himself.

“We all went straight up there after we heard what happened. There was a helicopter searching for them.

“We laid flowers and threw yellow roses into the sea. It has been a tragic accident and is a very tragic time for the family.”

David also has three other sisters; Michelle Ringwood (48) Tracey Stead (46) Melita Harland (45) and a daughter Lauren, in her early 20s, who he doted on.

He was popular with everyone who knew him, said Caroline and loved his new life in Scotland.

She added: “David went to see family in Scotland and liked it so much he ended up staying.

“He lived with our cousin May and her husband Andy, who was like a brother to him.

“They all loved him and thought the world of him. He and the lads he was fishing with were all so close as well as all his other mates.”

Close family friend Michael Day, from Hartlepool, also expressed his sadness at the news.

Michael said: “I’ve known him all my life. He was just a happy-go-lucky person, a really nice lad.

“He was always fishing off the Heugh and helping out on the quays.

“Hopefully, he will be found and his body recovered so his family can lay him to rest.”