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Crowdfunders have already beaten a target ten-fold to help the family of tragic dad-to-be Kieran Cowan, whose body was found in Loch Awe.
Emergency crews recovered the 23-year-old on Wednesday last week after a massive search of the water. Mr Cowan was one of three men on board a boat that capsized around 4.40pm on Saturday August 17 – the other two manged to swim to safety.
A joint Police Scotland and Marine Accident Investigation Branch inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident is still ongoing.
A Justgiving page was initially created by a friend of Mr Cowan’s with a target of £1,000, saying the money was ‘for a loved one that we have all sadly lost due to a tragic accident’. Less than 20 hours later, 258 people had already donated more than £6,000 and by Monday it had reached £11,500, backed by 458 wellwishers.
Connor Fairley described his friend from Prestonpans as ‘a delight to many people, someone who made everyone laugh and had a heart of gold’.
In a tribute on the Justgiving page, Connor added: ‘Kieran had a solid, steady income and after the recent tragedy that will now affect his family. It breaks my heart but as everyone knows Kieran and Lisa are due to have a little baby girl.
‘I have never felt so helpless in my life so as a very close friend I would like to help as much as possible.’
Mr Fairley said a group of Kieron’s close friends were rallying round to show support.
‘Our group of friends that Kieran grew up with are doing everything they can to help and I’m sure everyone else would like to do the same. Every penny raised will be donated to Lisa Reid to support and provide a little comfort for Lisa and their little baby girl,’ he added.
And Mr Fairley has pledged to make a special book for Kieron’s family recording all the donations and messages so they can see how much love they were sent.
‘Once the time period is over I will personally make a book with every person’s name, donation and message that will then be given to Lisa and her baby girl to show the love and support she has from every single person who helped her through this tough time.’
He ended his Justgiving post saying: ‘We all miss you so much Kieran and we will do everything we can to support your family.’
A statement from the Cowan family last week asked for their privacy to be respected and to be given time to grieve.
It read: ‘Kieran was elated and looking forward to welcoming a baby daughter later this year with his partner Lisa Reid.
‘We are overwhelmed by the love and support from family, friends and the local communities in both Prestonpans and Oban.
‘We ask that people respect our privacy at this difficult time and allow us time to grieve,’ said the statement.