Two brothers from Fasque Castle have pushed themselves to the limits in aid of new charity which has been set up in memory of local kayaker Dominic Jackson, was tragically died earlier this year.
Brothers Harvey Reid (17) and Archie Reid (14), whose parents own Fasque Castle in Fettercairn, have conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of new charity Plan B.
Plan B has been set up in memory of Fettercairn man, Dom Jackson who sadly drowned in a sea kayaking accident off Portsoy in early February this year. Dom died alone at sea in freezing conditions after the changeable winter conditions caught him out. A massive land, air and sea rescue mission was launched, and after four days of intensive searching by the RNLI, HM Coastguard, the Police plus Dom’s family and friends and hundreds of volunteers, Dom’s body was found 50 miles away off Lybster Harbour.
Plan B aims to raise awareness of safety planning in outdoor activities, in particular the use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). A PLB is a small lightweight and wearable device which, when activated, transmits a powerful signal using radio frequencies and satellite tracking, enabling emergency services to pinpoint your location to within a few metres. They are a relatively cheap piece of equipment costing between £150-£200 and can save your life in an emergency. Had Dom been carrying a PLB the outcome of his kayaking trip could have been very different and his sister Ellie Jackson is keen for lessons to be learnt from her brother’s death.
She said: “I want others to learn from Dom and plan their adventure properly - getting the right skills, going with someone or part of a group, carrying the right gear and letting someone know where and when you are going are all part of having a Plan B. You need to be thinking what is your back up plan if things go wrong out there?
“My brother was already missing for 36 hours before the alarm was raised as he hadn’t let anyone know he was going out that day. It is such a senseless waste of a kind-hearted and genuine man and his loss has devastated his family and friends. I would like people to remember my brother Dom when making their own preparations and stop and think about their own safety and also to have respect for their families - no family should have to be put through an ordeal like that for the sake of passion and thrill for a sport. I know my brother did not want to die that day - yes he may have died doing what he loved and he understood and accepted that risk but he thought it would never happen to him and that he would be OK - something we have all thought I am sure. However there are ways to mitigate that risk and failing to take them is failing to value your life and those of your family.” Both boys attend Lathallan school and worked with and helped Dom in his role of managing the grounds at Fasque Castle and have made the climb with other students from their school. The team began their ascent at midnight on July 14 and after nine hours of hard climbing, whilst battling altitude sickness, severe cold and exhaustion, they all reached the summit, 5,895m above sea level. The boys had already completed a gruelling “warm-up” climb of Mt. Meru in Tanzania - 3.5
times higher than Ben Nevis, to help acclimatise themselves to the altitude and conditions only days before the main climb.
There were some anxious parents waiting back in Scotland to hear the good news that everyone had completed the climb safely, and only when they received the call could they finally share their pride of their sons achievements. Not only were the by boys challenging themselves to undertake an awe-inspiring adventure but they also committed themselves to raising £1,000 for Plan B - a target they most deservedly smashed.
Plan B has the full support of the RNLI, HM Coastguard, industry businesses and leading outdoor adventurers. All monies raised by the boys will be spent in providing education, raising awareness and promoting technology such as PLBs to save lives of outdoor enthusiasts. From hill walking and mountain climbing to sea kayaking and sailing, making a Plan B can save your life. Visit www.planbcharity.org for more information and if you wish to don wish to donate to the boys’ justgiving page, please find us on Facebook for the link @planbcharity.