Safety and a Plan B

We have all been touched and saddened by the tragic death of kayaker Dominic Jackson earlier this month, in the north of Scotland.  How well we remember the pain of such a loss.  Our thoughts are with Dominic’s family at this difficult time.


The Neil Mackenzie Trust encourages adventure through expedition and adventure grants and through this year’s fundraising event – 2017 Bell’s Bothy Challenge.  Dom’s story is a timely reminder for anyone setting out on a challenge to be prepared for the unexpected.  Ellie, Dom’s sister, has put in a great deal of time and effort since the tragedy, to promote PLBs (personal locator beacons) and other safety measures in case things go wrong.  Please check out the PLanB website, make a donation if you can, and make sure that you are as well prepared as you can be for whatever challenge awaits you. We know that adrenaline, excitement and risk play a part in every challenge but please, please stay safe.  Keep your own safety in mind, as well as the safety of others you are with, your families and those who may have to rescue you if things go wrong.

Having the skills to participate in a particular adventure is one of the keys to safety. The Neil Mackenzie Trust gives small grants for skills training for residents in Scotland of all ages (from 14 years).  If you are interested let us know about the training you would like to undertake, and if appropriate we will send you an application form.

Now back to the Bothy Challenge!  We will be going back to Skye for the first weekend of March – weather permitting.  The plan – a big bonfire on the beach!  That said, the reason for there being no stove/fire in the bothy is the lack of readily available wood.  The bonfire will be to burn any burnable rubbish in the bay, assuming there is some, so we will be looking for help to collect driftwood, pick up paper rubbish, etc.  Can you help?  I will post, nearer the time, which day we will be there, as we will be walking in for the day and not staying in the bothy.