Funeral poignant tribute to 'gentleman of the sea'
HUNDREDS of people turned out to celebrate the life of Exmouth skipper Geoff Ingram, described by friends as a "gentleman of the sea".
It was standing room only in the Holy Trinity Church in Exmouth as more than 700 people attended the moving service led by Reverend James Hutchings.
The 51-year-old's coffin was carried into the church by six of his friends and fellow fishermen who organised the extraordinary effort to retrieve his body from the wreck of his vessel, the Sarah Jayne, just over a week after it sunk.
Exmouth's mayor Cllr John Humpreys and town crier Roger Bourgein were also in attendance alongside dozens of members of the Exmouth RNLI volunteer crew including coxswain Tim Mock and station manager Kevin Riley.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Since the vessel sank on September 11 there has been a huge outpouring of grief throughout the town as well as heartfelt support for Geoff''s family – his wife Sarah and two children Vicky, 20, and Tom, 17.
The effort to retrieve his body 160ft underwater was coordinated by Dave Kerley who runs the Fish Shed at Darts Farm. The 46 year old and fellow fishermen, Burt Thomas, Tony Wreford, Mike Baker, Dave Stuart, Miles Blood-Smythe with divers, George Bartlett, Dan Burton and Steve Mortimer went to the wreck on September 20.
"The amount of people who turned out to Geoff's funeral was an amazing tribute," he said.
John Gosling, 51, who had been friends with Geoff since they were teenagers said: "The service was deeply touching and reflected who Geoff was to a tee. "If everyone lived their lives like Geoff did the world would be a better place.
"So many people came from all over the country, with wishes being sent from all over the world including Canada, America and New Zealand, from people whose lives had been touched by Geoff."
Mr Gosling said no fishing boats went to sea from Exmouth on the day of the funeral with the majority of fishermen in Brixham following suit as a mark of respect.
Cllr Humpreys, said: "Geoff was so much to so many people and is in their hearts and minds for many reasons including his bravery through his work with the Exmouth RNLI."
Donations after the funeral will be donated to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.
An inquest into his death has been opened and adjourned.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been carrying out an investigation into the incident but has so far not commented.