On the 21st of January 2018 our dad, Ronnie Alexander left for work and never returned to his family.
Dad was a fit and active 74-year-old, former prison officer who worked as a security guard for CSM Facilities who had the contract to provide security services on the construction of the Afton Wind Farm near New Cumnock in Ayrshire.
During the shift weather closed in with heavy snowstorms and dad was working alone, while his colleague was two miles away on another part of the site, became increasingly isolated with no power or heat and at 8.50 pm emergency services were alerted. Despite the efforts of police and rescue services they were not to be rescued until 1.30am on Monday 22nd January when our dad was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he was to lose his battle for life after suffering severe hypothermia.
The 22nd January is now a date forever in our hearts as it was the day our mum, Mary lost a loving husband and soul mate, we lost a dad who had always been here for us and our children lost the best grandfather they could have hoped for.
Are we angry? yes; after two years of missing dad each and every day, do we have answers to the questions that have formed in our mind since that day, no?
Mum retired last December after nearly 40 years working for East Ayrshire Council, two of the most active pensioners, who worked past retirement age because they wanted to and could and should have expected to have a long and happy retirement together, an opportunity denied them that night two years ago on a snowbound construction site on an Ayrshire hill.
We were told that the investigation would take up to 18 months, two years later we still do not know what happened, why our dad and his colleague had to guard a remote site in terrible weather conditions when the risk of vandalism and theft were remote? Why were they lone working in such dreadful conditions? Could the alarm have been raised earlier if they had been working together? What arrangements were there for emergency power supply, if any? What procedures were in place to cope with severe weather?
Following an approach from Scottish Hazards the Health and Safety Executive have now agreed to meet us this Friday, two days after the second anniversary of dad’s death.
Dad, we will not rest until we find out why you were not sent home and taken off that Ayrshire hillside earlier on that fateful night two years ago, a night that changed all our lives forever.