Boat builder found dead in river

TRIBUTES have paid to a 50-year-old boat builder who was found dead in the River Deben close to the boatyard where he worked.Colin Parrish lived on a twin-masted boat Nellie on the River Deben which was moored at the end of a private jetty leading from Everson's boatyard.

By Richard Smith

TRIBUTES have paid to a 50-year-old boat builder who was found dead in the River Deben close to the boatyard where he worked.

Colin Parrish lived on a twin-masted boat Nellie on the River Deben which was moored at the end of a private jetty leading from Everson's boatyard.

Mr Parrish, who celebrated his 50th birthday this month, worked at Eversons and he finished last Thursday for the festive season.


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But he was found in the river on Saturday morning by a member of the public and now police officers are trying to establish events leading up to his death.

The flag at the boatyard has been flying at half mast and one Woodbridge resident said: ''Colin was a super shipwright and it is very sad what has happened.''

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Mr Parrish's mother lives in Woodbridge and he has a brother.

Stan Hewitt, a Woodbridge town councillor, said: ''A lot of people relied upon Colin and there will be a lot of sad people about his death.

''He was a likeable bloke, a good tradesman and when he had anything to do, he did it his way and got on with it. When he did a job, he did it very well.

''You will not find a better boat handler - and yet although he was as strong as an ox he could not swim. He will be very much missed as an employee of Eversons and he could turn his hand to anything.

''He was a very strong willed person and he had also been working on his late father's boat in the yard.''

Cllr Hewitt added: ''He used to be in the building industry and he was a very good chippy and if you gave him a bit of wood he could do anything with it.''

Frank Knights, who lives beside the River Deben, said: ''Colin was very well versed in the river but I had no idea he could not swim. I have known the parents for very many years and the family moved to Woodbridge from Kesgrave.''

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said officers received a call from a member of the public at about 8.30am on December 23 in which it was stated that a man's body had been found in the River Deben at Woodbridge.

''As a standard procedure, Suffolk police will be treating the man's death as unexplained. A post mortem will be carried out in due course,'' she said.

Thames Coastguard was alerted to the discovery of Mr Parrish's body and a lifeboat from Harwich was sent out - but the crew were not needed in the end and they turned back before arriving at the scene.

The coroner has been informed and an inquest will be held at a later date. Anyone with information about the death is asked to call Pc Karle Howard at Woodbridge police on 01473 613500.

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