Heartbreaking tributes have been paid to a fisherman who died after his boat capsized near Macduff.
He has been named by his son, in an online post, as “best fisherman and pal”, Sandy Alexander.
The retired fisherman was out near Macduff on Thursday morning when his small creel boat capsized.
The alarm was raised at 11am and rescue teams scrambled to the shoreline to find a man in the water.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency response, he died a short time later.
The 69-year-old is described as a “topper guy” and a “true legend” in the fishing industry.
Many have been quick to pay tribute to the “best fisherman and pal” who died “doing what he loved”.
‘A true character of the fishing industry’
Mr Alexander’s son, Sandy Alexander, shared his heartbreak and paid tribute to the man he learned everything from.
He stated: “I am posting this in memory of first and foremost my dad, my skipper, my best pal.
“I’ll miss you more than you can ever imagine dad I’ll never forget you. You were the best fisherman I know and everything I know is down to you.
“You died doing the thing you loved most. Sleep easy till we meet again.”
Friends commenting on social media described Mr Alexander as a “fine man” and “cracking fella”.
John Johnston wrote: “Such sad, sad news Sandy. Hard to take it in. He was a big help to me on the boat and was a great friend to me these years.
“Thinking about you pal and all the family. Your dad was a legend.”
Andrew West commented: “Your dad was such a fine man and a true character of the fishing industry. He will be missed by many. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.”
Mr Alexander’s friend, Kieran Kelly, posted: “Rest in peace Sandy Alexander Snr. May the fish be plentiful in heaven buddy. It was a pleasure knowing you and I’ll miss the chats.”
Commenting online, Norman Cameron, stated: “He loved the sea and was highly thought of and respected in the fishing community. On a personal basis, he was kind, generous and a fun guy.”
Crew, skippers and owners of the Portavogie fishing fleet in North Ireland also paid their respects online and said: “[We] would like to send our deepest condolences to the family of skipper Mr Sandy Alexander Snr…Safe in the Lord’s arm’s.”
Mr Alexander was a ‘well-liked’ man around the harbour
A fellow fisherman in Fraserburgh said Mr Alexander’s death was a “terrible shock”.
With many noting his “legendary” skills and his willingness to lend a hand, the man who did want to be named, said Mr Alexander was a “well liked man around the harbour” and was “known by everybody”.
Neighbours of Mr Alexander told The Press and Journal he was often away fishing but would always give them a wave.
One neighbour said: “He’s a lovely guy and we’ve got a wee boy, and when he was born he gave him £50.
“He kind of just kept himself to himself. He was in and out, he was always down at the fishing and away with his van quite a lot.”
‘It’s a tragedy’
It is understood Mr Alexander’s small creel boat engine failed before the boat capsized on Thursday.
Coastguard Rescue Teams from Fraserburgh and Macduff were sent to the scene alongside local lifeboat crews and the coastguard rescue helicopter from Inverness.
Councillor James Adams for Fraserburgh and district said Mr Alexander’s fate reflects the danger still present for those in the industry.
He said: “It’s a tragedy. It highlights the dangers the fishermen still face as they’re going to do their job.
“You think these sort of things don’t happen in this day and age but unfortunately they still do.
“It’s sad when someone doesn’t come home after going out on the boat it’s not what you want to see. It’s tragic for everyone involved.
“As you imagine it’s a small, tight-knit community up in this corner of the north-east I know a lot of people, their thoughts are with the family at this moment.”