Dolphins or was it a bigger fish in the Moray Firth yesterday?

A great day off the hills yesterday and a fun came of golf at Hopeman in very strong sunshine and perfect weather and frozen greens! The views of the Moray Firth are spell bounding along with the hills covered in snow, blue skies and calm sea made it idyllic. As the course is very near the sea I saw two big shapes very near the shore from the course and lots of seagulls in the water. I am sure it was bigger than the familiar dolphins chasing some shoals fish which were attracting all the birds a great site.


All through the golf my phone was busy. The news of the tragedy on Ben Nevis which is now a Police Investigation is a huge shock to us all and my phone was inundated with the Press wanting Information or a quote. I found this difficult as only those who were there know what happened and speculation is not what the family who have lost a loved one and who are grieving need just now. I felt I had to give a short interview to the BBC and say a piece. Once you become or speak your views on the mountaineering community to the press then it is difficult not to comment when times are difficult? My thought firstly are with the family of this well loved mountaineer. The comments from the family on the tragedy are powerful as are the tributes and bring the heartbreak they are suffering to life. Lets us now leave them alone to grieve. Some papers do not help by going through scenarios without the facts but this is modern life add to that the power of the internet and things go viral after a keypad is struck. Every mountain accident involves a huge loss to a family and we as the mountaineering community should gather round and help in any way we can. Mountaineering is dangerous, accidents happen and so many lives are saved by the Teams and Helicopters involved every day. Often helicopters crews risk their lives as do Rescue Teams to assist fellow mountaineers and walkers, we take all this for granted. It is a service built over many years by so many good people of all types. We must never forget that we are not machines we are human and we can make mistakes all we can do is try to keep them to minimum. I will never forget when I lost two great friends winter climbing though I was heavily involved in Mountain Rescue at the time the help I was given by the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team is something I will never forget. I have been on the other side on several occasions. Mountain Rescue is a great band of brothers and sisters, each team is a family as is each helicopter crew. I am sure whatever the outcome of this tragedy these great people will be out there helping those in trouble. Of this I am certain.


About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Friends, Lectures, mountain safety, SAR, Scottish winter climbing.. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dolphins or was it a bigger fish in the Moray Firth yesterday?

  1. Sid Harding says:

    Good words Dave, it clearly requires mature and sympathetic view at this stage and you undoubtedly provided them, even the BBC got that across. I am surprised you managed a complete round yesterday with all the media attention, well done and thanks for turning up and playing.


  2. ptsd17 says:

    You can get Minke Whales, and even Humpbacks in the Moray Firth. If your on Twitter follow @Dolphinsighting
    Great loss of a mountain loving man, at least he died doing something he was so passionate and loved to do! How many people can say that!


  3. Alan Breck says:

    Caring and sensitive. Yet by bringing the golfing aspect into it you give the feeling that while it’s very sad & tragic for all concerned our life must go on.


  4. Alastair Rose says:

    Good words- A time for respectfulness and sensitivity is what should prevail.


  5. Freeheeler says:

    Your comments on the BBC News were well pitched, reminding people that this is the real world. A very difficult time but as you say, there are occasions when a comment from someone with your experience is needed. You have to hope that this will help set the tone for any further reporting.


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