/ The Island
/ Accidents and Wrecks
Robert Burgar Drowned
(11th October 1895)
Robert Burgar of Cott was drowned on
11th December 1895. James Flett, the factor’s clerk had been over from Eday on one of the twice yearly visits for
the rent. Robert and his son, William Burgar, had put him on to Westray and were
returning to Pharay when the accident happened.
It was dark and they had gone rather close to the Point of Dog’s Bones on the Pharay
Holm to avoid the strong current. Their boat was overturned by a heavy land sea.
William got ahold of the keel of the boat and then got ahold of his father who may have been hurt or knocked out.
Robert’s wife, Lizzie Harcus at Doggerboat heard noises from Lavey Sound,
which separates Pharay from the Holm, and ran to Quoy at the north end to raise the
alarm. James Groat from Lakequoy was there, having married Jane Drever from
Quoy in 1892. He took a boat with his brother in law and they rowed towards the sounds.
William had had to let his father go by this time realising that if he held on longer then he would have had to let go his
hold of the keel. His mother crossed his mind and he hoped that he would be saved so that at least she would have one of
His rescuers let the boat go and she drifted on to the Holm where she broke up. He died in 1952 at the age of eighty four
and it is said that in certain weather he felt the pain in the arm that had clung to his father.