Tributes to former lifeboatman and yachtsman who died following heart attack on Gorleston beach
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013
A former lifeboatman whose passion for seafaring span from restoring boats to racing yachts has died following a suspected heart attack.
Peter Johnson, an active member of Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club and the Lowestoft-based Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club as well as a marine engineering expert involved with the RNLI at Southwold and Gorleston, died on Sunday after falling ill on Gorleston beach.
The 71-year-old became unwell during a race day organised by the sailing club while acting as race officer. He was treated at the scene before being taken to the James Paget University Hospital, but sadly died that afternoon.
Mr Johnson, whose late wife Lynne was a nurse, lived for many years at Corton, near Lowestoft and more recently in Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth.
A former naval architect, he was a long-serving trustee for the Alfred Corry Museum in Southwold, getting involved after he devised and helped move Cromer's old lifeboat shed to the Suffolk town in 1998 where it was given a new lease of life as an RNLI museum. He was also a qualified boat builder who in recent years spearheaded the campaign to restore Gorleston's former lifeboat, the Louise Stephens.
You may also want to watch:
Des Mallion, Mr Johnson's cousin who worked alongside him to repair the Louise Stephens - a Dunkirk Little Ship, said: 'Peter served on the Louise Stephens from 1959 to 1967 and I guess I'm following in his footsteps. He was a very active cousin, always ready to help.
'He and his partner Annie loved going away on skiing and sailing holidays. Being a naval architect he could always be found in the Gorleston Yacht Club dingy park tinkering with yachts trying to improve the way they would handle. And as a very keen committee member he would always be the first there and the last to leave and was often seen controlling the races off Gorleston on the committee boat.
- 1 Body found in search for missing 87-year-old Margaret Smith
- 2 'I can't carry it' - Shock as plant starts growing eight inches a day
- 3 WATCH: 'Selfish' drug-driver ploughs into police detective's vehicle
- 4 Norfolk man who had sexual relationship with teen jailed
- 5 Two Norfolk businesses star in TV show
- 6 Fly-tipper travelled from Welsh border to dump in Norfolk
- 7 Aldi planning four new stores in Norfolk
- 8 The Range confirms new store at former Outfit on retail park
- 9 Funeral held for much loved windsurfer after body found in Sweden
- 10 Man charged with attempted murder after serious Norwich assault
'Once he found out where the Louise Stephens was lying it was only going to be a matter of time for Peter to get her back from the top of Scotland.
'His passion, drive and determination brought that lifeboat home.'
Mr Mallion, who is currently a Gorleston lifeboatman, said the restoration project will continue. And, in tribute to Mr Johnson, the RNLI lifeboat will raise its flag at half mast on the day of his funeral.
Mr Johnson leaves a daughter, Jenny, and two grandchildren. He is also survived by his mother, Joyce.
To pay tribute to Mr Johnson, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01493 847954.