Tributes to tragic angler

POLICE are today trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a Needham Market angler who died in a double tragedy on a Berkshire lake.As neighbours and Suffolk's angling community expressed it shock over the death of Mark Shave, post mortems were under way today to determine how the 32-year-old and fellow fisherman Mark Bennett, of Horley, Surrey, died.

POLICE are today trying to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a Needham Market angler who died in a double tragedy on a Berkshire lake.

As neighbours and Suffolk's angling community expressed it shock over the death of Mark Shave, post mortems were under way today to determine how the 32-year-old and fellow fisherman Mark Bennett, of Horley, Surrey, died.

Their bodies were discovered after police were called when a passer-by saw a sunken rowing boat on Wraysbury Lake, near Slough.

Although Thames Valley police are currently treating a section of the lake as a crime scene, the waterway is known to be notoriously unpredictable during strong winds, it emerged today.

Bryn Abbott, of Birds Fishing Tackle, Gipping Road, Great Blakenham, where Mr Shave - a keen carp angler - used to buy his fishing equipment, said: "When the wind blows up, it can get really, really choppy. For anyone out on a boat it's really bad. You need a lifejacket on all the while."

Mr Abbott said Wraysbury Lake, was extremely large and although it was one long stretch of water, it was split into two parts for the purposes of fishing.

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The lake is a well-known spot professional and amateur anglers from across Europe and is very popular with carp fishermen.

Anglers trying to catch carp often camp out on a riverbank for days at a time to try and catch their prey.

Mr Abbott said it is likely the men had only gone out in the boat for a short period of time to check whether the bait they had laid down to attract the fish had been taken. The only other reasons he thought the anglers would have gone out would have been if their rods had been snagged or to lay down bait.

Mr Abbott said he and other fishermen would be saddened by the double tragedy.

He said: “It goes to highlight, you really have got to watch what you are doing when you're fishing. It's a pleasurable pastime. You don't expect to die from it.”

Richard Young, secretary of the Gipping Angling Preservation Society said: “It's sad. I don't know the circumstances but people will be shocked and surprised.

One of Mr Shave's neighbours paid their tribute to him today. They said he was a friendly man who spent much of his free time pursuing his fishing passion.

Emma Wells, said Mr Shave regularly went away fishing. “He used to be away most weekends, she said.”

“He always used to be dragging his fishing stuff backwards and forwards.” Mr Shave was described as a friendly and polite man but his neighbours said he kept to himself in the street.

“He would always say hello, and he would always be polite, Mrs Wells said. Another resident added: “If he drove by he'd always wave.”

Police had been searching the Wraysbury Lake since Friday after finding Mr Bennett's body on December 31.

Witness reports had suggested that two people had been in the boat and the search continued until Mr Shave's body was found.

His body was identified by relatives yesterday.

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