HOPE IS FADING as the search for missing Kayaker Dominic Jackson enters a fourth full day this morning.
The operation continued on Wednesday with the police commander in charge of the search thanking the many volunteers who were combing the coast for signs of Mr Jackson – but appealing that they also take care for their own safety.
Inspector Kevin Goldie warned that weather conditions continue to be against the police, coastguard, lifeboat and specialist units taking part in the search alongside Mr Jackson’s family, friends and the public.
Inspector Kevin Goldie said: “Once again I would like to thank the volunteers who have turned out for their support both yesterday and today – I cannot stress how much it is appreciated and I know it has been a great source of strength for Dominic’s family at this difficult time.
“However, weather conditions are not expected to improve and as our search operation enters more difficult and challenging terrain, our priority must be your safety.
“I know that a number of volunteers have turned out with kayaks today to assist with the sea search, however given the conditions I would urge you to find other ways of supporting Dominic’s family.
“Police Scotland has specially trained staff who we are unable to deploy at this stage due to the deteriorating weather and dangerous conditions; I would advise members of the public also not to put themselves at risk.
“By no means does this mean the search is being scaled down, however we need the right people in the right places at this time. Our officers are trained in certain techniques and will be designated to certain areas – they have the skills and equipment needed to maximise the area we need to cover.
“As always, anyone with information about Dominic’s whereabouts at the weekend are urged to contact Police 101, no matter how insignificant you think your information might be.”
Police issued images yesterday of the protective clothing Mr Jackson was believed to be wearing when he set out from Portsoy on Saturday. He had purchased a bright yellow jacket with blue zips, black cuffs and waistband, as well as a light blue and grey buoyancy aid with yellow zips.
While some safety equipment and what Mr Jackson’s Kayak have been recovered, none of these items have been.
Mr Jackson’s sister, Ellie, who lives in Australia, said that the longer the search goes on the more eager the family are to find him. She said: “It has been really hard going up and down the physically demanding cliffs for my dad, but he is keeping it together because it is all he can do.”
The family continue to cling to the hope that Mr Jackson swam ashore and became trapped under high cliffs.