Elderly man dies after Broads boat fall

Anthony Carroll An elderly man has died after he fell off a boat on the Broads and spent at least 40 minutes in the water in the early hours of Monday morning.The man, who is in his 80s, died at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after he was flown from South Walsham Broad by an RAF Sea King rescue helicopter.

Anthony Carroll

An elderly man has died after he fell off a boat on the Broads and spent at least 40 minutes in the water in the early hours of Monday morning.

The man, who is in his 80s, died at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston after he was flown from South Walsham Broad by an RAF Sea King rescue helicopter.

He was found face down in the broad after a police officer and a doctor took part in a desperate attempt to locate him in poor weather conditions and the pitch dark.


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The man, who is believed to be from Norfolk, is thought to have fallen in South Walsham Broad while he was handling a mud weight on the deck of the boat in his normal clothes.

His wife called the emergency services at about 12.15am.

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When police and a doctor arrived they had to commandeer a vessel to reach the couple's boat because it was 200m on the other side of the broad and inaccessible to vehicles.

While an officer and the doctor crossed the broad, other police officers shone lights to help them find the man.

The man had been in the water for at least 40 minutes and once he was pulled from the water paramedics tried to resuscitate him

He was then winched onto a Sea King from Wattisham airfield in Suffolk and taken to the JPH where he was pronounced dead.

Insp Paul McCarthy, from Great Yarmouth police, said: “The information we received was the man was handling a mud weight and just fell off the boat.

“When the officers arrived they could not reach the boat as it was 200m on the other side of the broad. An officer and a doctor commandeered a boat and asked its owner to take them over.

“It was pitch black and pouring with rain.

“It was a top effort by everyone concerned and they did all they could but unfortunately the man died.”

The dead man's wife was taken to the JPH by ambulance as a precaution.

Eight police officers from Yarmouth and the Acle Road policing unit attended the incident along with ambulance staff and the Sea King.

The Coastguard rescue co-ordination centre at Yarmouth sent the rescue search team from Winterton and the Hemsby inshore rescue service were also called in.

A full file on the incident will be passed onto the Norfolk Coroner's Office.

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