THE dad of dead kayaker Dominic Jackson has said an emotional thank you to those who helped find his son.
Speaking in his first interview since Dominic’s body was found, shattered Jeremy Jackson told The Sunday Post his family were eternally grateful to those who came out to help find the 35-year-old.
The former oil worker and landscape gardener, who was known as Dom to those closest to him, was reported missing last Sunday night after leaving for a weekend trip from Portsoy in Aberdeenshire.
His kayak was found on Monday near Lybster in Caithness and his body discovered on Thursday.
Yesterday, heartbroken Jeremy, 65, said: “The community around Portsoy have been fantastic.
“From the police to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and even the Station Hotel where I have been staying.
“We even had locals out using drones to search deserted caves in case Dom was in there.
“Sadly, it turned out to be a search and recovery mission instead of a search and rescue mission.
“But despite our family’s anguish, we have been touched by the community spirit we have been shown while here.”
Dad-of-six Jeremy, from Uckfield in Sussex, had been on holiday in Cumbria when he got the call to tell him Dominic was missing.
“I jumped straight in the car and headed to Portsoy late on Sunday night,” he said.”
Hours of frantic waiting followed and then, tragically, the recovery of the young kayaker’s body.
“It’s been a horrible shock,” said the distraught dad.
The family mounted a high-profile search campaign with Dominic’s sister Ellie keeping well-wishers informed on social media from her home in Australia.
Jeremy said: “We won’t be rushing the funeral.
“I want to spend some time in Scotland thanking people for their help. I expect to be here for another couple of days.
“We also need to ensure Ellie gets back to the UK for the funeral.”
His dad said Dom was the “sort of guy everyone loved”. He had fallen in love with Scotland after moving here to work in the oil industry and latterly as a landscape gardener.
He said: “He went to Manchester Uni and just kept going north.
“He’s a huge loss to our family and was much loved.
“He was the youngest of six, so as a family we will all try to support each other as we mourn for Dom.
“He was an outdoor-type as all my kids are. He was happy exploring nature.”
It’s been reported Dominic’s relatives now plan to set up a charity in his name to raise awareness of sea safety.
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