Beach clean in memory of kayaker Dominic Jackson

© DC Thomson
Brother and sister Mika, 6, and Mia, 3, Luoma help with the clean-up

Twenty bags of rubbish were cleared from a north-east beach on Sunday in memory of a kayaker who drowned last year.

Around 70 volunteers marked environmental enthusiast Dominic Jackson’s 37th birthday by blitz cleaning the beach at Lunan Bay in Angus.

Dominic, a gardener from Fettercairn, was 35 when he was reported overdue from a weekend trip to Portsoy in Aberdeenshire in February 2017.

His kayak was found near Lybster in Caithness and a body later found in the Lybster area was confirmed as his.

© DC Thomson
Jeremy Jackson and family friend Emma Phethean.

His family went on to set up the PlanB charity to promote sea safety and the use of personal locator beacons (PLBs) in a bid to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

They have already raised thousands of pounds.

Dominic, originally from East Sussex, was said to be passionate about nature and the environment and had been known to clean beaches by himself.

Sunday’s event was organised by Dominic’s business partner John Phethean, who ran Oakleaf Gardening Services with him.

This is the second beach-clean he has organised in his friend’s memory and he hopes to make it an annual event.

Mr Phethean’s wife Emma, who was also involved, said she was delighted so many people had turned up to help.

“We had a fantastic turnout,” she said.

“We estimate there were about 70 volunteers, which is really good.

“We collected 20 bags of rubbish and another 150 items such as fishing nets which can be recycled.”

She added: “We also had Surfers Against Sewage working with us.”

Last year’s event in Kingston Bay in Moray involved just 15 people.

Emma said: “Dominic was really passionate about the environment. Sometimes he would clean by himself.

“It was his birthday this week and we’ll be doing this every year from now on.”

Dominic’s sister Ellie Jackson revealed last year that her brother had bought the kayak as a Christmas present to himself and was on his third or fourth trip out on it when he was involved in an accident.

He had been wearing a buoyancy aid but was unable to access his mobile phone.

A PLB, a small wearable device, could have been activated in an emergency, allowing emergency services to locate him sooner.