Tributes paid to sailor lost in river

PUBLISHED: 11:34 10 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

LIFELONG sailor Jim Turner, whose body was found in the River Deben after a major search, will be sorely missed by the sailing community and his family.

LIFELONG sailor Jim Turner, whose body was found in the River Deben after a major search, will be sorely missed by the sailing community and his family.

Tributes were today paid to Mr Turner, 80, who had lived most of his life in Waldringfield and was a well-known figure in the village and on the river.

He had been a member of Waldringfield Sailing Club since the 1950s and knew the Deben like the back of his hand.

Mr Turner lived with his wife Mary in Cliff Road, Waldringfield and was the oldest of six brothers and sisters, four of whom still live in the village.

His nephew Andrew Nunn, 39, said: "He was out on the river a lot but was also a real family man, coming from a large family.

"He owned a beach hut near the sailing club and his brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, went to see him down there a lot.

"He enjoyed his family and everyone is in shock. The community in Waldringfield will be badly affected by this."

Mr Turner – who had three daughters, two of whom are also keen sailors – served in the Navy and later worked with a family-owned demolition company in Waldringfield.

His dinghy was found by a lifeboat and his body discovered in the water at Kyson Point, Martlesham Creek, yesterday after an extensive search by emergency services.

He 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.

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.

Margaret Lake, secretary of Waldringfield Sailing Club, told The Evening Star that Mr Turner would be "sorely missed".

"He was so well-known in the village and at the club, where he had been a member since the 1950s. He had not been such an active member in recent times but everyone knew him and he was always on the river," she said.

"He was very popular and always had a friendly word or a wave for people."

Friends Frank and Christine Knights, who live at Ferry Quay, Woodbridge, said they had had lunch with Mr Turner and his wife only last week.

"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.

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