Frank Whyte, 69, was taken ashore but died at the scene of the accident in Findhorn Bay.

A sailor who died after his Drascombe Lugger capsized in a “fierce squall” off the Moray coast, north Scotland has been named.

Several people were rescued from the water on Saturday after winds gusting 56 knots caused multiple sailing dinghies and day boats to capsize.

But 69-year-old sailor Frank Whyte was found unresponsive in the sea near his overturned Drascombe Lugger. Mr Whyte was taken ashore but died at the scene.

A spokesman for Invergordon Lifeboat Station said: ‘Invergordon RNLI were tasked to multiple sailing dinghies which were capsized by Findhorn Bay after what was described by many as a ‘unbelievable’ weather squall which hit the Moray Firth coast line.’

The spokesman said weather conditions changed rapidly from a calm, sunny day to ‘strong winds with speeds gusting 56 knots at some points, driving rain, hail and thunder and lightning lasting around 10-15 minutes, before reverting to calm sunny conditions previously witnessed.’

Kessock Lifeboat and the independent lifeboat Moray Inshore Rescue Organisation (MIRO) from Findhorn were called to assist two people in the water from a capsized dinghy out of Nairn Harbour.

At 1.45pm, Aberdeen Coastguard then tasked all lifeboats to an incident just outside Findhorn Bay following reports that seven sailing dinghies were capsized with people in the water. On arrival the majority of dinghies were recovered and people accounted for.

The lifeboat spokesman said: ‘Aberdeen Coastguard advised there was a report of an unresponsive person in the water. With Rescue 951 in attendance, Invergordon Lifeboat stood by in the marina to offer any assistance.

‘The lifeboat then made its way out of the bay to locate the casualty’s upturned sailing vessel which was reported to be a Drascombe Lugger.

‘Arriving on scene and assessing the situation, two crew were deployed in dry suits to try and secure a rope to in a bid to right the vessel in order to tow back into Findhorn Marina, after several attempts to right the vessel it was eventually righted using a method of ropes from the Lifeboat and with the assistance of MIRO Rescue and North 58 Sea Adventures ‘Buchaneer’ Rib which then together took the vessel under tow to Findhorn Sailing Club Slipway for recovery.’

The spokesman added: ‘We have sadly since been advised that the casualty has passed away and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult and sad time.’

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘Police can confirm that the man who died after getting into difficulty at Findhorn Bay on Saturday, 21 May, has been identified as Frank Whyte, 69, from the Forres area.

‘There are no apparent suspicious circumstances and as with all sudden deaths a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.’