Body on beach confirmed to be missing Hartlepool fisherman

David Stead, from Hartlepool, who died after his boat overturned on a fishing trip in Scotland a month ago.
David Stead, from Hartlepool, who died after his boat overturned on a fishing trip in Scotland a month ago.

Police in Scotland have confirmed that a body found on a beach a fortnight ago is that of missing fisherman, David Stead, from Hartlepool.

Mr Stead was one of the three anglers who lost their lives after their boat overturned in the Firth of Forth on August 10.

Human remains were found at St Andrews by police searching for Jason Buchan and David Stead, who had not been seen since their boat capsized off the coast of East Wemyss, Fife.

Mr Stead, a keen fisherman, was from Hartlepool, and moved to Scotland about two years ago.

He still has a large extended family in the town, including four sisters and a daughter he was devoted to.

Another fisherman, Birrell Stewart, who was also onboard, was recovered from the Firth of Forth, but later died in hospital.

At the height of the search, two lifeboats were involved as well as a rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, and three coastguard teams.

Remains were found at two beaches and the families of Mr Buchan and Mr Stead were informed.

Today, after confirmation that the remains were those of Mr Stead, his family issued a tribute to him.

It said: “Words fail to express how we feel at the loss of David. He was a loving son, brother, father and friend.

“Our thoughts are with the friends and families of both Jason Buchan and Birrell Stewart.

“We are touched and appreciative of the efforts made by the local community, who helped reunite us with David and gave us closure.

“They have been a constant source of support and strength, while we endured this nightmare.”

Mr Stead’s relatives also offered sincere thanks to all members of the emergency services for their hard work during the search, and asked for privacy while the family comes to terms with its loss.

Police Scotland officers also expressed thanks to the local communities and the families of the three victims, for their patience and support during the search for the missing men.