Family of tragic Mearns man raise funds in his memory

Dominic Jackson
Dominic Jackson

The family of Mearns man Dominic Jackson, who died last week after heading out on a sea kayaking trip, have said they are “overwhelmed” by the response of the public to a fundraising page set up in his memory.

Dom (35), was reported missing after travelling to Portsoy on February on February 3 for a sea kayaking trip and failing to return. Tragically, following a huge search and rescue operation, his body was discovered last Thurday (February 9).

Dominic Jackson

Dominic Jackson

His family have since set up a fundraising page, in the hopes of encouraging the use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs).

Originally set up with the aim of raising £5,000, the target was smashed within 12 hours, and so the family now hope to raise £10,000.

Doms sister, Ellie Jackson, said: “Dom Jackson tragically died at sea whilst kayaking in February 2017. This accident could have been completely preventable had Dom been wearing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). Dom was alone at sea in freezing conditions completely unknown to anyone and it wasn’t until 36 hours after his disappearance that the alarm was first raised. Dom’s body was eventually found six days after first going missing, over 50 miles away from the primary search area.

“The search involved Police, RNLI and Coastguard utilising several helicopters, lifeboats and light aircraft together with numerous teams of searches on the cliff tops. The cost of this operation would have been enormous. We feel the public has little awareness of how inexpensive technology such as PLB’s can be used to prevent tragedies like this and Dom’s family would like to use his legacy to prevent any other family having to go through the pain of such a senseless waste of life.

“All monies raised will be spent on initial costs involved in setting up a charity in Dom’s name. Once the charity has been set up and working together with the support of the RNLI, the overall aim will be to campaign to raise awareness of the use of PLB’s and correct sea safety logging procedures via an app and website. Further down the track, we would be looking to provide educational material to support the teaching of this information to children and adults to ensure that carrying a PLB at sea is as common to everyone as wearing a seatbelt in a car or a lifejacket on the water.”

Ellie revealed that they decided to focus on PLBs following advice from the RNLI on how best to use money raised. She added: “All Dom wanted to do was to help people and little did he know that his own death would be the catalyst for that to happen.”

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/domjackson