Former port chief mourned by friends

FRIENDS today spoke of their shock at the tragic death of a Felixstowe man who had been devoted to his family and his work.Captain Victor Sutton, a former town and district councillor, was found dead at Levington Marina on the River Orwell after a mystery accident.

FRIENDS today spoke of their shock at the tragic death of a Felixstowe man who had been devoted to his family and his work.

Captain Victor Sutton, a former town and district councillor, was found dead at Levington Marina on the River Orwell after a mystery accident.

The body of boat owner Charles Pennington, 73, from Norwich, was also recovered from the water.

The two friends had been staying aboard Mr Pennington's yacht, Genoa, after attending a dinner to mark the opening of Haven Ports Yacht Club's season.


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It is thought one of the men may have fallen into the water, while the other jumped in to help before they both got into difficulties.

Capt Sutton, 75, who lived with his wife Anne in Brook Lane, Felixstowe, was well-known in shipping and boating circles and had spent his life working in ports and shipping.

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Friend Tom Savage, former secretary of Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company said: "It is a real shock and our thoughts go out to his family at this terrible time.

"For someone who had lived his life connected with the sea, it is a dreadful irony that he should have died in this way.

"He was a family man, a cautious man, and a very private man who did not court publicity. He liked to get on and do his job and he was always very firm but fair - in negotiations he would always stick to his guns.

"I shall treasure my memories of him as a thrusting young harbourmaster who was determined and gave so much, especially during the time we were all working to build Felixstowe port into what it has become today."

Another family friend Barbara Black, of Mendlesham, said: "He had travelled all over the world and was very involved in Felixstowe Rotary Club and the Master Mariners. He was a lovely person and will be much missed."

Captain Sutton worked for the Harwich Haven Authority for more than 20 years, serving as harbourmaster, general manager and chief executive of the Harwich Haven Authority between 1971 and his retirement in 1991.

The son of a former Great Yarmouth harbourmaster, he was educated at Framlingham College and served at sea with Royal Mail Lines from 1946.

He joined the Port of London Authority in 1959 before becoming Harwich harbourmaster in 1971.

He was awarded the MBE in 1983 and also served on Suffolk Coastal District and Felixstowe Town Councils from 1983-87.

He had three sons. None of the family were available to speak about their loss.

Suffolk police said post-mortem examinations had been carried out on both men and added their deaths were not being treated as suspicious and inquests would be held at a later date.

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