Tragedy after freak wind strikes yachts on Findhorn Bay

Freak and sudden wind blamed for death of yachtsman on Findhorn Bay
Freak and sudden wind blamed for death of yachtsman on Findhorn Bay

TRAGEDY STRUCK WHEN a freak gust of wind was blamed for leading to the death of 69-year-old yachtsman Frank Whyte on Findhorn Bay at the weekend.

Reports indicated that as many as seven yachts were overturned by the freak gust during an event in the bay on Saturday that a Coastguard spokesman said involved as many as nine people.

Most escaped unharmed – but Mr Whyte was declared to have died at the scene, which was attended by police, ambulance and coastguard rescuers including an emergency helicopter.

The incident happened at around 1.45pm when emergency services were informed that a man was in difficulties, sadly efforts to save him were unsuccessful. A police spokeswoman said: “Police and other emergency services responded to reports of a man in difficulty on Saturday, 21 May, at around 1.45pm.

“The man was brought ashore but he sadly died at the scene. The man’s next of kin have been made aware however no further details will be released until he has been formally identified.

“There are no apparent suspicious circumstances and as with all sudden deaths a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

A spokesman for Aberdeen Coastguard added: “There were nine people involved in an event, eight of whom were fine. Unfortunately one man was declared deceased at the scene.”

Mr Whyte lived in Forres, had worked as a joiner and was well known for his love of sailing.  He was described by friends as a “jovial” man who loved nothing better than spending time on his boat.

Footage supplied by insideMoray reader Ben Sutherland