Family devastated by ferry tragedy

THE mother-in-law of a Suffolk man killed in the Bahrain boating disaster last night told of the family's devastation at his death.Molly Gillingwater flew out to the Middle East on Friday to be with her daughter, Nicola Nolan, after the tragedy claimed the life of her husband, Will.

THE mother-in-law of a Suffolk man killed in the Bahrain boating disaster last night told of the family's devastation at his death.

Molly Gillingwater flew out to the Middle East on Friday to be with her daughter, Nicola Nolan, after the tragedy claimed the life of her husband, Will.

Mr Nolan, 50, a father-of-two from Bucklesham Road, Ipswich, is one of 58 people known to have died when a boat overturned on Thursday.

Speaking last night from Bahrain, Mrs Gillingwater said the family is still coming to terms with their loss.


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“It's very difficult and it's all very sensitive,” she said.

“He was such a fantastic man, a family man and a hard worker. He was very selfless. There was a minute's silence for the victims at the Bahrain World Trade Centre yesterday. We all attended that and there were about 2,000 workers there.

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“We're doing things day by day. We're going back to where it happened tomorrow and the children will put flowers in the water.”

It is thought Mr Nolan's body is likely to be released by the police in the next 48 hours but the family has not yet decided how long they will remain in Bahrain.

Although plans have yet to be finalised, it has been decided the funeral of Mr Nolan will be held at the place of his marriage to Nicola, St John the Baptist Church, in Orwell Road, Felixstowe.

Mrs Gillingwater, of Felixstowe, flew out to Bahrain, along with her two other daughters and her granddaughter, Sarah Jane, 18, to be with Mrs Nolan and her son, David, 16.

She said the whole family has received “fantastic” support since the tragedy, both from Suffolk and in Bahrain.

“It's quite amazing,” she said. “We've been in contact with our daughters' husbands, Paul in Ipswich and Roddy in London. The support has been incredible.

“The Red Cross has been brilliant and the counselling has been marvellous too.”

Police investigations into the incident are continuing, with the owner of the capsized floating restaurant interviewed by prosecutors.

The Bahraini man has been questioned on why his converted dhow, the Al Dana, went out to sea without being properly licensed.

A total of 15 Britons died following Thursday night's disaster, including six who worked for South African-based Murray and Roberts, one of which was Mr Nolan.

Mr and Mrs Nolan were among a group of employees celebrating the completion of part of the Bahrain World Trade Centre project when the boat capsized.

Although Felixstowe-born Mrs Nolan was able to swim to safety, her husband died after being stranded on a lower deck.

The 80ft-long traditional sailing vessel, which had been converted into a restaurant, was carrying 130 people when it capsized.

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