Hundreds bid final farewell to ‘beautiful angel’ who died after canoeing accident

Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a young schoolgirl who died after a canoeing accident which claimed the lives of three children and devastated their communities.

Five-year-old Grace Mackay died after the six-man boat capsized in Loch Gairloch, Wester Ross, in the Scottish Highlands, on Sunday August 26.

Grace, from Muir of Ord, near Inverness, was plucked from the water by rescuers but lost her fight for life the next day in hospital.

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Brothers Jamie Beaton, two, and Ewen, five, also died after the canoe overturned in the sea loch in apparently calm weather. The body of the boys’ 32-year-old father, also Ewen, from Beauly near Inverness, has yet to be found, despite extensive police and coastguard searches.

The funeral service for the boys will be held tomorrow in Inverness.

Grace’s father Garry and her eight-year-old sister Callie survived after managing to swim to the shore.

Yesterday hundreds of people packed into East Church, Muir of Ord to pay their respects to Grace who has been described by her family as a “beautiful angel”.

The hearse arrived at the church in Seaforth Road at about 11.45am and the coffin was taken inside as mourners began to enter the church. The car carried a floral tribute, “Grace”, written in purple and white blooms.