The funeral of kayaker Dominic Jackson whose body was found after a search off the coast of Scotland earlier this month will be held on Friday, March 17.
Dom, who used to live in Uckfield, and attended Uckfield Community Technology College, moved to Scotland 13 years ago.
He was on a kayaking trip and missing for six days before his body was recovered.
His funeral will take place at Fettercairn Parish Church with a wake afterwards at the Ramsay Arms Hotel, Fettercairn.
The family is trying to organise lift-sharing for anybody who might be travelling to the funeral from the Uckfield area. See more on the Find Dom – The Legend lives on Facebook page.
A charity is being set up following Dom’s death to raise awareness of Personal Locator Beacons which might have helped save his life and could save others in a similar situation.
A fund-raising campaign has been launched to support the efforts and more than £9,200 has already been raised towards the £10,000 target.
A JustGiving page has been set up and reasons are given there for the campaign.
Organisers say: “Dom Jackson tragically died at sea whilst kayaking in February 2017. This accident could have been completely preventable had Dom been wearing a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
“Dom was alone at sea in freezing conditions completely unknown to anyone and it wasn’t until 36 hours after his disappearance that the alarm was first raised.
“Dom’s body was eventually found six days after first going missing, over 50 miles away from the primary earch area.
“The search involved Police, RNLI and Coastguard utilising several helicopters, lifeboats and light aircraft together with numerous teams of searches on the cliff tops.
“The cost of this operation would have been enormous. We feel the public has little awareness of how inexpensive technology such as PLB’s can be used to prevent tragedies like this and Dom’s family would like to use his legacy to prevent any other family having to go through the pain of such a senseless waste of life.
“All monies raised will be spent on initial costs involved in setting up a charity in Dom’s name. Once the charity has been set up and working together with the support of the RNLI, the overall aim will be to campaign to raise awareness of the use of PLB’s and correct sea safety logging procedures via an app and website.
“Further down the track, we would be looking to provide educational material to support the teaching of this information to children and adults to ensure that carrying a PLB at sea is as common to everyone as wearing a seatbelt in a car or a lifejacket on the water.”
From our story on Wednesday, February 8: Thirty-five-year-old Dom was last seen on Saturday (February 6) at Portsoy harbour asking locals where was a good spot to go kayaking.
Dom, who attended Uckfield Community Technology College and lived on Rocks Park moved from Uckfield to Scotland 13 years ago.
He hasn’t been seen since getting into his gear and launching the kayak at Portsoy harbour on Saturday.
His housemate raised the alarm on Facebook, and with the Scottish Police, on Sunday evening at 9pm when Dom failed to return home after his weekend away.
Shortly afterwards police found Dom’s distinctive VW camper van at Portsoy Harbour with sleeping bag inside and no kayak.
Lifeboats and helicopters
A full-scale search was conducted over the next few days with relatives, friends and well-wishers joining in the hunt.
Dominic’s brother Stuart Jackson, father Jeremy Jackson, nephew Oliver Thorogood,and his sister Kirstie Maywood, Oliver’s mum, were involved and Dominic’s sister in Australia, Ellie Jackson coordinated efforts to inform all family members of Dom’s disappearance and to use social media to generate awareness to find him.
Dom was described as an “exceptionally fit and healthy strong man” who ran his own successful gardening business in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.
He had a strong passion for the outdoors and loved to snowboard, hill walk, snorkel and surf and was comfortable in Scottish conditions.