Tributes paid to Suffolk pensioner

FRIENDS of a pensioner who died yesterday on the River Deben in Suffolk have paid tribute to the well-known member of the boating community.The body of Jim Turner, of Cliff Road, Waldringfield, near Woodbridge, was found after an extensive search by emergency services.

FRIENDS of a pensioner who died yesterday on the River Deben in Suffolk have paid tribute to the well-known member of the boating community.

The body of Jim Turner, of Cliff Road, Waldringfield, near Woodbridge, was found after an extensive search by emergency services.

Mr Turner's dinghy was found by a lifeboat and his body was discovered in the water at Kyson Point, Martlesham Creek.

Mr Turner had set off on Tuesday afternoon in a rowing dinghy from Waldringfield to go to Woodbridge on the high tide to collect his motor boat.


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The boat had been repaired at premises at Ferry Quay but Mr Turner never reached the town. The circumstances surrounding his death have not been made public but Suffolk police said his death was not being treated as suspicious and the coroner had been informed.

An alert was raised on Tuesday evening when Mr Turner, who had left his car in the car park at Waldringfield, failed to return.

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Thames Coastguard co-ordinated an extensive search of the river and its banks. The police helicopter, the air sea rescue helicopter, the Harwich inshore lifeboat and coastguard rescue teams from Felixstowe and Shingle Street all took part in the search.

They searched for two-and-a-half hours until 1.30am during a force three to four northerly wind and an overnight frost. The search was resumed at 4am and at 7am the dinghy was found.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ''It was quickly confirmed as being that of the missing man. A body was found and recovered at 7.30am by the lifeboat and was landed to the police.''

Mr Turner was 80 and he had been a familiar figure on the river for many years. Mr Turner and his wife Mary had had lunch at a pub with Frank and Christine Knights, who live at Ferry Quay, last week.

Mrs Knights said yesterday police officers had woken them in the early hours of the morning to ask questions about Mr Turner's motor boat which he was supposed to have collected.

She described how the search had taken place along the river and they could see the air sea rescue helicopter looking for the dinghy.

''They are a very well known Waldringfield family and he had been involved with the river for most of his life. He was a great friend of ours and we had known him for years,'' said Mrs Knights.

Mr Turner, a member of Waldringfield Sailing Club, was in the Navy and later worked with a demolition company in Waldringfield. His family declined to comment yesterday.

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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