August 1907

Scotsman Archives- 26th August 1907

A sad accident occurred at Port Appin on Saturday by which two lives were lost. Two boys named Whitelaw and Archibald Kay, whose families were summer residents at Port Appin, were amusing themselves in a boat off the pier when the boat upset and both were thrown into the water. The pier is a T-shape structure with a long leg running to the shore and the accident occurred in one of the angles formed by the head of the pier. Mr George Whitelaw, father of one of the boys, was on the pier when the boat was overturned. He immediately rushed into the water and got hold of his own boy, with whom he swam ashore and then went out to the assistance of the other boy, who was his nephew.

Meantime the boy Whitelaw, running up the shore, met Mr Dugald MacFarlane, the ferryman, whom he told of the occurrence. While he ran for other assistance. Mr MacFarlane at once went into the water. He found the boy Archibald Kay, age 12, standing upright on the ground under the water and brought him ashore and going back he found Mr George Whitelaw, age 56, in a similar position and also brought him ashore. Both were unconscious. With the assistance of Mr Maclachlan, the piermaster, they were carried up to the Pier House and efforts made to revive them and the steamer Mountaineer arriving from Oban at this moment, inquiry was made if there was a doctor on board. Unfortunately there was not but a medical student on board volunteered assistance and on examination he found life in both cases to be quite extinct. The families of both victims were from Callander and the sad accident has occasioned much regret in the district. Mr George Whitelaw wasa frequent summer resident in Western Argyllshire.

Further to the Scotsmans article, Mr George Whitelaw did not die from drowning. His death certificate states that the cause of death was ‘heart failure due to shock in attempting to save a boy from drowning’. Time of death 9.15 am.

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