Grieving dad of Scott Ferries hopes his son’s Loch Doon death can prevent more tragedies

A grieving Ayrshire dad hopes his son’s Loch Doon death can prevent more tragedies.

Scott Ferries, 24, from Ayr died after his kayak capsized and he was thrown into the freezing waters last Sunday.

Despite trying to resuscitate him for over an hour pals and mercy crews were unable to save him.

Dad James Ferries has paid tribute to his “one in a million” son as he vowed to make the popular sun spot safer so no parent goes through any more heartache.

The dad, who worked with Scott in his Somerset Garage in Ayr, has told how poor phone signals and lack of safety equipment could have contributed to his son’s death.

The 51-year-old told Ayrshire Live: “There isn’t enough being done there to help anybody who gets into trouble.

“There is a terrible phone signal up there, there were problems with it on the day.

The Ferries family have been left heartbroken by Scott’s death

“When my nephew called me to tell me what happened I really struggled to hear what he was saying.

“It was a very brief broken phone call, he put me on to one of the officers who was there.

“We never even waited until he phoned back, we went straight down to Loch Doon.

“On the way there I was just telling myself ‘please give him a pulse, I don’t want him to be dead.’

James arrived in rows of emergency vehicles parked along the road up to the loch as his worst fears were quickly confirmed.

Now his family are wanting to raise extra cash to purchase safety buoys which can be thrown to a person in the water who is in danger.

James added: “Scott’s big brother James Junior has thought of the idea to have life buoy rings around Loch Doon every March 27 in memory of Scott.

“The quicker that they are up there the more chance they have of saving somebody. To save even one person will make it worthwhile.”

Scott was a strong swimmer but suffered from cold water shock
Scott was a strong swimmer but suffered from cold water shock

James has told how Scott bought a kayak for each of them last year and they headed to Loch Doon last summer to try them in the water.

He added: “My wife kept saying don’t go out there without a life jacket on.

“That time everything was okay, this time it wasn’t.

“He could swim, he was so strong and he was athletic at that point in time.

“The shock of the cold water made his body shut down, that is the danger of it.”

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James wants his son’s death to be a reminder of just how dangerous the loch can be.

And he has told how another grieving parent who lost their son Brandon Patton at Loch Doon in 2019 got in touch with him to offer her support.

James added: “I will never go in water without at least having a life jacket or something on.

The family want to raise awareness around the dangers of Loch Doon
The family want to raise awareness around the dangers of Loch Doon

“I class myself as a good swimmer but if one silly mistake is all it takes – you don’t get a second chance.

“They need rescue teams on the loch, when an incident happens they only have minutes, it’s those minutes that defy life or death.”

James has told how the family have since been overwhelmed with messages of support from friends, family and well-wishers.

He said: “The generosity and messages from everyone have been amazing and such a great comfort to all of Scott’s family.”

Scott was the youngest of five children and worked alongside his dad in Somerset Garage.

James Ferries has paid tribute to his son Scott.
James Ferries has paid tribute to his son Scott.

His dad has joked how his cheeky chappy son was a nightmare to work with, with the pair clashing on a daily basis.

He said: “We’d sit and shout at each other, he’d go and have a banter with the customers then he’d be arguing with me.

“That was just Scott that was just how he was, he was always a cheeky chappy.

“All the regular customers all knew what he was like and he had good banter back and forth with them.

“He would go above and beyond to help somebody, he would do anything for anyone.

Scott 'lived for' dog Roxy
Scott ‘lived for’ dog Roxy

“He went all the way to Largs once to help a friend because she had an oil leak in her car, he wouldn’t accept anything for it. That sums Scott up, he really was one in a million.”

James has told how Scott ‘lived for’ his black dog Roxy who has been missing him.

He added: “He lived for his dog, the love he had for Roxy far surpassed any love I’ve ever seen for anybody.

“She senses that he’s not here.

“We still bring her down to the garage, she still gets to sit in her car so that she’s still close to him.

“She is feeling it as much as I am.”

You can donate to the fundraiser for Scott here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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