Funeral for canoe death brothers

Banbury Cake: The funeral of Ewen Beaton and his brother Jamie is being held in Inverness (Family handout/PA) The funeral of Ewen Beaton and his brother Jamie is being held in Inverness (Family handout/PA)

Mourners gathered for the funeral of two young brothers who died in a canoeing accident which also claimed the life of their five-year-old friend.

Ewen Beaton, five, and his brother Jamie, two, were in a six-man canoe which capsized on Loch Gairloch in Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands, on Sunday August 26. They were airlifted to Raigmore hospital in Inverness but died later that night.

The body of the boys' 32-year-old father, also named Ewen, is still missing. He is presumed drowned.

Family friend Grace Mackay, five, was also pulled from the water after the accident but she too died last week in Glasgow's Yorkhill children's hospital.

Grace's sister Callie, eight, and their father Garry, 35, managed to swim the 500 metres to shore and raise the alarm.

The boys' funeral is taking place at Inverness Crematorium. Mourners began arriving in numbers with almost an hour to go before the service began at the quiet location, set in extensive grounds. Some hugged and comforted each other before going into the crematorium for the service.

A hearse carrying flower wreaths arrived at the building as mourners continued to take their seats inside.

The Beaton family, from Beauly, near Inverness, previously offered thanks for the efforts in trying to find Mr Beaton.

In a statement, they said: "We would like to thank the police, coastguard, RNLI and all the other emergency services who did everything they could for little Ewen and Jamie. We would also like to thank everyone for their tireless efforts in the ongoing search for Ewen, including emergency services, local residents and visitors to Gairloch.

"Our focus remains firmly on finding Ewen and bringing him home. We would again like to thank everyone for their continued efforts to find him, particularly our dear friends in the local community. Our thoughts are also with the Mackay family at this extremely difficult time."

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