Local fisherman in cliffs tragedy

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a father-of-three who died after being swept into the sea near the cliffs by a freak wave on Sunday lunchtime.

Brian Harvey (49) had been fishing in the Deil’s Heid area when he was swept into the sea around 12.20 p.m.

His fishing partners, Ronnie Coates and Davie Hannah, desperately tried to save their friend and raised the alarm with the Aberdeen Coastguard.

Mr Harvey, a domestic assistant at Arbroath Infirmary, was recovered by the crew of the RNLI Arbroath inshore lifeboat, but pronounced dead at the scene after efforts to resuscitate him failed.

His wife, Valerie, described her husband as a “fantastic man” and says she still can’t believe he is gone.

She said: “He used to go fishing every second weekend, right up the coast – he was very experienced.

“He was a fantastic man. Everybody who knew him loved him. All of his work colleagues and his friends are in total shock. He was just one of those happy-go-lucky guys.”

Mr Harvey’s father, Albert (80), often used to accompany his son on fishing trips and is still struggling to come to terms with the loss.

He added: “I was just speaking to him the other day.

“He came up to borrow a fishing reel from me and I told him that he had to be careful if he was going up to the cliffs.

“We were quite a close family and we used to go fishing together all the time.”

Tributes have also been paid to Mr Harvey on the Arbroath Herald Facebook page, with one poster saying she watched the tragedy occur.

Dawn Smith Bryan said: “I watched all this unfold whilst walking my dog, I had hoped he was fine. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult and sad time.”

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have issued advice to anglers in the local area advising them to wear a life jacket, check weather and tidal conditions and to tell a shore contact where you are going and when you intend to be back.