Search Teams Praised By Family Of Kayaker Found Dead In Sea

The family of a kayaker found dead days after going missing on a sea trip will be "forever grateful to the brave and wonderful people'' who helped in the search for him.

Dominic Jackson, 35, was reported missing on Sunday February 5 after he failed to return from a kayaking trip off Portsoy on the north coast of Aberdeenshire.

Four days later, his body was found in water near Lybster, about 50 miles from Portsoy in the Highlands.

A major land, air and sea search was launched by police and emergency services when Mr Jackson was reported missing while members of his family were joined by dozens of volunteers to boost searches of the coastline.

A family statement released through Police Scotland said: "The search also involved teams of local people together with Dom's family and friends scouring the cliff tops searching for any sign of Dom.

"This was sometimes at great personal risk due to the rugged nature of the coastline in this area and his family are forever grateful to the brave and wonderful people within these communities.''

Mr Jackson's family have set up a charity in his memory to promote sea safety and the use of personal locator beacons (PLBs), which they believe could have saved his life.

Their campaign has raised more than £7,500 so far for the charity, which will be called PLanB.

The family, originally from Uckfield near Brighton, said: "Sadly, Dom was most likely already dead before anyone even knew he was missing, an outcome which could have so easily been avoided had he been aware of and taken basic safety gear.

"Dom's family - father Jeremy, brothers Stuart and Leighton, sisters Kirstie, Kate and Ellie together with his large extended family and friends - have all undergone a tremendous ordeal and in the midst of their grief are determined that Dom's life will not have been lost in vain.

"A PLB is a small wearable device that operates using GPS and radio waves. When activated in an emergency, it can pinpoint your location to within a few metres.''

The statement added: "Dom had just recently found himself at a time in his life with very little responsibilities and so after working hard all week in a physically demanding job, he would venture out into the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and islands looking for new challenges and experiences.

"It was his confidence in his own physical fitness and capabilities together with an under-appreciation for the dangers he was placing himself in that has ultimately led to his death.

"This is what makes his loss so hard for the family to bear as it was completely unnecessary had he made some basic preparations.

"A PLB can be bought as a present to a loved one, a gift to yourself or can even be hired if the costs of owning one are prohibitive.

"Anyone who would like to learn more about PLBs or to make a donation to Dom's charity, PLanB, can visit the website www.myplanb.life for more information.''

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