Missing man’s family release balloons from ferry

The family of a young man who went missing off a NorthLink ferry ten days ago released balloons into the air from the boat on Thursday night.

The poignant gesture took place when the ship stopped briefly, around 90 minutes north of Aberdeen – the same area off the east coast of Scotland where 22-year-old Craig Townsley was reported missing from the Hjaltland.

In an interview in today’s Shetland Times, Craig’s mother Jacqueline describes her heartache at waiting for news of her missing son.

Craig Townsley
Craig Townsley

She had been travelling with Craig on the south-bound ferry on Monday 9th September. Jacqueline last saw him at around 3.30am when he said he was going out to get some fresh air.

She dozed off when Craig left their cabin and awoke again at 5.55am to find an empty bed. She searched the vessel herself and, when she realised her son was missing, alerted the crew at 6.30am.

“I never thought for a moment they weren’t going to find him on the day he went missing,” she said earlier this week. “But now it is a week later and there’s no news.”


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