Tributes for Southwold harbour plunge pensioner

A north Suffolk pensioner whose body was pulled from a car that plunged into Southwold Harbour on Friday afternoon has been described as a 'lovely bloke' by a shocked neighbour.

Philip Charles Evans, 89, was in a maroon coloured Renault Kangoo which smashed through three barriers on the quayside and careered into the harbour.

He was named by police on Saturday afternoon.

Friday afternoon's crash prompted a doomed frantic rescue attempt in which Southwold lifeboat Dr Charlie Townsley bravely jumped in to the River Blyth to try and attach a line to Mr Evans's car.

Nearly seven hours after plunging into the harbour the locked car with Mr Evans' body in was pulled out by a specialist crane and Metropolitan Police diving team.

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Mr Evans lived alone at his home in Blacksmith Close, Wangford, near Southwold, after his wife Mary died several years ago.

It is believed the couple had four children, all boys.

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Yesterday one of Mr Evans's neighbours, Lindsey Stott, spoke of her shock on hearing the news that it was his body that was pulled out of the harbour.

Miss Stott, 51 and a former teacher, said: 'He was a lovely bloke and was one of those people who you always wave to. He was very quiet and more or less kept himself to himself.

'He had been ill for time and had a walking stick. His wife Mary died a few years also and I believe they had four sons.

'It is just really upsetting to hear that he has died and what happened to him. I think it is tragic, really.'

Miss Stott said Mr Evans had lived in Blacksmith Close for at least 15 years.

It is believed that Mr Evans's immediate family or relatives visited his home on Saturday after being told by police about his death.

Yesterday at the scene of the harbour crash two bouquets of flowers, without any writing on, and another tribute of what appeared to be a puppet of a fish with the words RIP was also left by the remains of the three barriers, which had been cordoned off by police.

A further message of condolence was made by Rick Stephenson, Coastguard sector manager who along with Coastguard rescue volunteers from Lowestoft, helped deal with the aftermath of Friday's crash.

Mr Stephenson said: 'Our prayers and condolences are with his family, relations and friends, and we all really, really feel for their loss.'

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