Teenager drowns in Highland river after beach party

Police teams search the River Nairn. Picture: Peter Jolly
Police teams search the River Nairn. Picture: Peter Jolly
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Police divers yesterday recovered the body of a 19-year-old man who drowned in a Highland river after attending a beach party.

Police were called to the harbour area of Nairn just before 1am on Sunday when they were told a man had been swept out to sea.

When officers arrived, they found two men in the water with one attempting to help the other.

One man managed to get out but the other was lost from sight. Yesterday, the man was named locally as Alexander ­Fraser.

It was also reported that one of his cousins had tried to help him out of the River Nairn as the tide went out, but was unable to.

Mr Fraser is understood to have ended up in the water after a dance music event further along the beach ended early because of torrential rain.

Friends said the man who mounted the rescue attempt was taken to hospital for a check up but later released.

The man’s body was found at 1:20pm as the tide receded and police said he will be formally identified at a later date.
The spokesman added: “The body was discovered by police divers this afternoon. Formal identification will take place in due course.

“As is normal practice, a report will now be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

A helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray joined police, Coastguard, Invergordon and Moray lifeboats, firefighters and ambulance staff in the search.

The beach party the men had attended had been organised on social media and was billed as EDM-2014. About 60 youngsters took part in the event held at a popular swimming spot on the East Beach side of the river.

Local youngsters often swim there, where a ladder reaches down to the water.

Police cordoned off the harbour area as their diving team searched the water.

One mother said: “My son had been down there. He got home about half past ten and said there had been people ­swimming.

“Then, not long afterwards, it was on Facebook that something had happened. I used to swim there myself when I was younger, but I was a strong swimmer and even then you could feel the current trying to pull you down.

“When the tide is going out it is particularly dangerous, but youngsters have always swum there and they like jumping in off the harbour wall.”

Previous incidents in the area include a man who was saved from drowning by a policeman after he leapt from the town’s West Pier in 1999.

Later that year a tourist was pulled from his car by four men after the vehicle plunged into the harbour. The drama came after the 59-year-old driver misjudged a corner.