A MAN has drowned after falling into a vat of whisky.
Brian Ettles, 46, is believed to have jumped into a 16ft distillery container at the award-winning Glenfiddich plant in Dufftown, Banffshire on Saturday.
Paramedics and fire crews battled to rescue Mr. Ettles after he was discovered in a 50,000 litre vat at around 10.40pm.
The container, which is known as a washback, was filled with a mixture of water and yeast.
The experienced employee, from nearby town of Whisky worker Keith, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mr Ettles worked at the distillery for 23 years and the popular tourist attraction remained closed yesterday as a tribute to him.
A spokesman for Glenfiddich said: “We decided to close as a mark of respect for the person who died and their family and collegues.”
Mr. Ettles death came just a day after his wife Irene celebrated her 54th birthday,
He also had two children, a son Stuart, 21, and daughter Julie, 24.
Last night Stuart posted a comment on his facebook page thanking his friends for their support and well wishes at this difficult time: “Many thanks for all the comments and texts”
Ettles’ widow spoke of her disbelief: “It was just such a shock. We’re just getting on with things. What else can you do?”
A spokeswoman for Grampian Police confirmed that no foul play is suspected at the scene: “Officers were called to an address in Dufftown where a 46-year-old man was found dead. There are no suspicious circumstances.”
Glenfiddich distillery was opened in 1886 and has remained an independent and family run company.
Its produce has won more medals at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and the International Spirits Challenge since 2000 than any other single malt Scotch whisky.
Local councillor Michael McConachie expressed his condolences to the bereaved family: “It’s shocking when something like this happens. My thoughts are with the family.”