28 March 1929
SCAPA FLOW TRAGEDY FEARED.
A STRONG westerly wind prevailed in Orkney on Tuesday, and Mr John Sabiston, Little Curries, Flotta, who left St Margaret’s Hope between 7 and 8 o’clock in the evening to return home has not been heard of since. Grave fears are entertained for his safety.
Mr Sabiston has been working his lobster creels in the vicinity of Nevi Skerry, in Hoxa Sound, the south-eastern entrance to Scapa Flow, when, owing to the increasing strength of the wind, he ran before it and sought shelter in St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldshay. It is believed he intended staying the night in the village of St Margaret’s Hope, but with the moderation of the weather conditions in the evening he apparently changed his mind and set off home in his yawl.
The first indication that anything was amiss came from an inquiry from the island of Flotta to St Margaret’s Hope, asking if the whereabouts of Mr Sabiston were known. Captain Laird, of S.S.. Sutors, which was on passage from the island of Burray to Scapa pier, yesterday morning stated that he sighted the dinghy in Scapa Flow, but at too great a distance for the purposes of identification.
In the course of telephonic inquiries to Flotta yesterday afternoon it was ascertained there was still no news of Mr Sabiston, and his continued absence was causing great anxiety. He is about 50 years of age, lives by himself in a little cottage by the shore, and is a relative of the Rev. James Sabiston, parish minister of Orphir, Orkney.
From The Scotsman, Thursday 28th March 1929 – Page7. By kind permission of Scotsman Publications Ltd.