Surfer Adam Frere-Smith remembered in sea ceremony at Cromer
A special ceremony at Cromer has been held at sea to remember a popular surfer who dedicated countless hours training others to save lives.
Dozens of mourners took part in the memorial paddle out in memory of Adam Frere-Smith, who co-founded North Norfolk Surf Lifesaving Club in 2007 – one of the first in the east of England.
Mr Frere-Smith, who died last year, aged 48, was a key figure in helping the Cromer-based club grow from a handful of members to more than 100. Friends, family and colleagues formed a floating circle, like a wreath, in the sea before scattering his ashes in the place where, according to his family, he was 'happiest and spent most of his time'.
His four children – Oliver, Jessica, Wesley and Esme – also unveiled a plaque in memory of the man affectionately known as Papa A, who, it states, 'dedicated time, love and passion to the club, positively influencing many lives'.
Mr Frere-Smith was found unresponsive in his bedroom on Pearcefield, Norwich, on November 16, the day after a fall. Oliver, himself a lifeguard, said: 'My dad loved the sea so we thought, what better way to send him off? He was one of the founders of the Surf Lifesaving Club and often volunteered as a lifeguard on his days off.
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'It's good to see how many lives he touched and how many people appreciate it.'
A new award, the Adam Frere-Smith Award, has been launched at the club to recognise dedication and commitment to surf lifesaving among its members. Mike Snelling, chairman of the north Norfolk club, said: 'It will be the highest and most prestigious award. I'm hoping in 50 years' time there will be 50 names on that and it will continue on longer than any of us.'
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