Sea swimming danger recalled by local man

Fraserburgh's beach.
Fraserburgh's beach.

Local man Robert Stephen has recalled the dangers of swimming in the sea following calls from local councillor Ian Tait for suggestions in improving safety.

The call came two incidents in which youngsters found themselves in danger after beings wept out to sea while at the beach in Fraserburgh.

Mr Stephen, who lives in Invercairn, has come forward with information regarding the tragic story of Sergeant John F. Milnes, a PE instructor with the RAF in 1944.

Mr Stephen explained that the sergeant was training five cadets on how to survive in the sea if their plane crashed.

“All the cadets got into terrible difficulty in the powerful current that sweeps the bay. They were trying to save ATC cadet James Mackinnon, a small slim youth, and sgt. Milnes who went to save him.”

Tragically, the sergeant and father of one drowned.

“He was buried with full military honours, his wife attending, and awarded the Memorial Testimonial for gallantry by the Royal Humane Society,” Mr Stephen added.

Mr Stephen, who has tended to the RAF war graves in Cairnbulg Cemetery and the war graves in Fraserburgh, also suggested that, before the war, the dangers of swimming at Fraserburgh’s bay had been widely known.

Local councillor Ian Tait this month called for suggestions on how to improve safety at Fraserburgh’s beach. He said: “A parent has approached me to see what can be done to take every step to prevent this life-threatening situation arising again.”