Man drowns in whisky vat

A distillery employee took his own life by drowning himself in a vat of water and yeast at a whisky plant in Scotland.

Father-of-two Brian Ettles, 46, climbed up the 50,000-litre tank before reportedly jumping into the container known as a washback used in the early stages of distilling at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Banffshire, Scotland.

Following the discovery of his body, emergency services were called to the scene on Saturday night but efforts to revive him failed.

Mr Ettles – a senior employee – had worked at the world-renowned distillery for 23 years and died the day before his wife’s 54th birthday.

Friends spoke of their shock at Mr Ettle’s suicide. Neighbour Eileen Mackenzie, 67, said: “I am just really shocked. It’s such a horrible way for someone to go and most people I have spoken to are really quite upset about it.

“He was just a young man and I have no idea what might have made him want to take his own life in such a way.”


Glenfiddich bosses shut the malt whisky distillery on Monday and Tuesday.

A spokesman for the firm said: “We would normally have been open but we decided to close as a mark of respect for the person who died and their family and colleagues.”

“Officers were called to a report of a sudden death of a 46-year-old man at an address in the Dufftown area on 7 January. There are no suspicious circumstances and as is usual in such circumstances a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course," a spokesperson for Grampian Police said.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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