‘The not knowing is the worst part’ - family of Great Yarmouth man missing after Lowestoft boating tragedy speak of turmoil

Emergency services recover a boat from the sea off the coast of Lowestoft. Emergency services recover a boat from the sea off the coast of Lowestoft.

Friday, March 21, 2014
6:55 AM

A family is in turmoil waiting for news of their missing brother who is feared dead after the boat he was in capsized.

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Andrew Porter, from Great Yarmouth, was on a fishing trip in his blue and white speedboat with two other men - Peter Chambers and Malcolm Sayer - when it overturned off the coast of Lowestoft on March 10.

More than a week on from the tragedy, which claimed the life of Mr Chambers and left rescuers fearing the worst for his companions, the family of Mr Porter are still reeling from the devastating event.

His younger sister Gail said: “It’s the not knowing, that’s the worst part. I go on [the internet] every morning and every afternoon and Google news in Yarmouth just to see if there are any updates.

“I’m walking around trying to find things to do to keep occupied because you’re walking around like a zombie just not knowing.”

Mr Porter, 46, was born in Yarmouth and is one of five siblings. He is a dad-of-two and had been out on his boat on the Sunday before the accident, and had returned to sea the following day to check the fishing lines he had dropped.

Gail, 45, from London, had met up with her brother in Yarmouth around ten days before the incident, and had been reminiscing with him as they had not seen each other for 32 years.

The family is now coming together - his dad flying in from France and older brothers from Finland and Kuala Lumpur - to lay a wreath at sea. They hope to place the wreath on Sunday, his 47th birthday.

“We’ve got to do something for him,” Gail added. “If there was a body we could have a funeral and grieve. The not knowing is just crazy.”

Police meanwhile, are still trying to trace Mr Chambers’ family and are now looking north after receiving information that he may have connections to Driffield, east Yorkshire.

Mr Chambers, 43, of Wellesley Road in Yarmouth, was pulled from the sea near Lowestoft’s Ness Point.

He is believed to have been wearing a buoyancy aid rather than a life jacket.

Despite efforts by his rescuers and ambulance personnel, he was pronounced dead an hour after he was seen in the water. A post mortem showed his cause of death as drowning and further tests are being carried out.

Emergency teams, including lifeboat from Lowestoft and Gorleston, coastguard rescue teams and the search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham, were scrambled into action after a member of the public spotted a man in the water at around 2pm last Monday.

Later that evening the 18ft speedboat was towed ashore.

A search resumed on the Tuesday morning as coastguard teams scoured the beach along the coast at low tide from Corton to Kessingland. The search was stood down at 1.30pm and Mr Porter and Mr Sayer, in his 70s, were reported missing that afternoon.

Mr Sayer, who is well-known among the Caister fishing community, is a dad of one and lives off Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth.

All three men were regulars at the Theatre Tavern in the town, where fellow customers have been left devastated by the tragedy.

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