September 28, 2021

‘I wish we could save the two boys’ – vivid memories of the Glasgow man’s Millport tragedy.

Sometimes it is the simplest thing that brings long buried memories, happy and sad.

The discovery of a long-forgotten letter brings the dramatic events of March 27, 1978, back to the readers of a Times Past.

Bobby Pollock of Craftfoot explained: “I received a letter of appreciation from the Street Clyde Police from my flatmate Matt Gordon and I got it back in 1978.

“I hadn’t thought about that day for many years, but when I saw the letter again, it all came back.”

It was a stormy Easter Monday, and Bobby and a few friends were walking on the island of Cambridge at Millport.

“We used to go to Glasgow regularly for holidays,” he says.

Glasgow Times: Millport on Cumberland Island.

My friend Alastair Roberts had a fishing boat, but he was not out that day because of the weather.

“Suddenly, we saw two men moving up and down in a small boat, and as we watched, a huge wave hit the boat and the two men capsized in the rough sea.”

Alistair moved, and he, Bobby and Gordon launched their boat to rescue the affected sailors.

Bobby recalls, “In a few minutes, we were heading for the big waves.

“We went to the first man who discovered he was not wearing a life jacket.

“As we got closer, the boat was pulled by a big wave so we had to spin again, and this time it disappeared under the water.

“Time was of the essence. As soon as we got to him, the two of us managed to get him on board, and we headed for his friend.

Disappointed, the men searched for another sailor, but he disappeared.

“I told her to tie a rope around her waist and I was. planning I wanted to jump, but I was advised against it, “says Bobby.

“Eventually he reappeared, but although we reached out to him and tried to catch him, he pulled us away when our hands touched a big wave.

“He went downstairs, and never showed up again.”

Bobby shook his head

“It was incredibly tragic. By the time we got back, there was a huge crowd with police and ambulances.

“The police took our details and thanked us for our public encouragement. The man we rescued was treated in hospital, but his friend drowned – it was a great tragedy.

Later, Bobby discovers that the two men met at a pub in Largs and decided to go fishing despite the stormy weather.

Our sister newspaper The Herald reported in March 1978: “A 24-year-old Londoner sank in Clyde’s Firth yesterday when he and his partner ignored a warning from a local boatman about putting a 12-foot outboard in a powerboat. What

“Nigel Barnes Watt, a shop assistant, was swept away as a rescuer grabbed his hand.”

Bobby’s letter from the then Chief Constable states: “It has been brought to my notice that you provided valuable assistance to the police on March 27, 1978, when a boat capsized at Mill Port Bay and two men were rescued. I was thrown.

“Your public encouragement to help them immediately saved the life of a Gulf man.”

Bobby is now a grandfather and has volunteered for many charities and good causes in and around Glasgow.

Read more: When Gordon Strachan was attacked by a fan during a Celtic match in the 1980s.

He was selected for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Baton Relay in recognition of his voluntary dedication.

He adds: “I revived the events of the day many times over the coming weeks.

“We all wanted it to end differently. I wish we could save both men.”

Share your memories with Times Past via [email protected] or Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG.

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