Inquest opens into lake tragedy deaths

By David LennardAN inquest has been opened into the deaths of a welder and his stepfather in a disused flotation tank in Lowestoft.Charles Buckenham, 52, of Hardy Close, Lowestoft, and Brian Dove, 55, of Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, died on Wednesday while working on a disused fuel tank at Lake Lothing, Oulton Broad.

By David Lennard

AN inquest has been opened into the deaths of a welder and his stepfather in a disused flotation tank in Lowestoft.

Charles Buckenham, 52, of Hardy Close, Lowestoft, and Brian Dove, 55, of Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, died on Wednesday while working on a disused fuel tank at Lake Lothing, Oulton Broad.

The inquest was held at Lowestoft police station yesterday and opened by the town's coroner, George Leguen de Lacroix.


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He was told a post-mortem examination had failed to give an exact cause of death on Mr Buckenham and Mr Dove and further toxicology tests are to be carried out.

The Health and Safety Executive is also carrying out an investigation into the deaths. Mr Leguen de Lacroix adjourned the inquest until April 25.

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A double funeral to celebrate the lives of the two men is to take place on Friday.

Mr Buckenham was a member of the Lowestoft lifeboat crew and his body and that of Mr Dove will be carried from the town's lifeboat station to St Margaret's Church for the ceremony.

The procession will take bodies on the mile-and-a-half route, leaving the boathouse near South Pier at 10.30am for the 11am service.

Mr Buckenham's brother-in-law, Walter Finnis, said he expected a lot of people to be at the ceremony.

“Lifeboatmen from up and down the country will be there. Although it is friends and family only for the service, it is going to be a busy occasion,” he added.

Although a lot of attention would be given to Mr Buckenham because of his involvement with the lifeboat, the family wanted a double funeral to celebrate the lives of both men, said Mr Finnis.

It is believed Mr Buckenham, who left a widow and three grown-up children, went in to the tank to help Mr Dove after calling 999 for assistance.

Both men were already dead at the scene when fire service crews and rescue experts arrived.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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