Tributes paid to tragic sailors

TRIBUTES were today paid to two friends who died after falling from their dinghy into the River Deben.Michael Palmer and Mick Hall - both in their 60s and from the Nottingham area - were found in the river early Sunday morning.

TRIBUTES were today paid to two friends who died after falling from their dinghy into the River Deben.

Michael Palmer and Mick Hall - both in their 60s and from the Nottingham area - were found in the river early Sunday morning.

They are believed to have been heading out in an eight-foot dinghy to enjoy a weekend fishing trip aboard their 28ft red and white yacht Marlin.

Friend, Mary George said she was shocked to learn of the deaths of the men.

“I went sailing last year with them to Ramsholt and cannot believed they have perished in these circumstances,” she said.

“They were both experienced sailors but this proves the danger of our waterways. They were both wonderful characters who always had time to lend anyone a helping hand.

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“Michael had been a particularly supportive friend to me over the past two years and helped me through a number of problems - he was completely unselfish with his time and concern. He has been a loving father to Andrew and Robert and will be greatly missed by all his friends.

“Mick too was a great dad to his four beautiful daughters and my heart goes out to them in their sad loss. They both loved sailing, it was truly in their blood and they will always be remembered.”

It is believed the men had been to Ramsholt in the afternoon and then to the Victoria Inn at Felixstowe Ferry.

The pub's Landlady Anita Warner said: “It's very sad news. They had been in here quite a few times and were such lovely men.

“They were the sort of people who came in to the bar and who lit it up.

“What was strange was that when we'd seen them on previous occasions they were always fully kitted out but this time they didn't seem to have life jackets or anything with them.”

Robert Wright, commodore at the Felixstowe Ferry sailing club, where the men had been drinking before they went back to their dinghy, said it appeared to be a terrible accident.

“I've fallen out of a dinghy many times - it's very easy to do, you lose concentration and suddenly everything is in the wrong place and before you know it you're in the sea.”

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