Tributes to mum on capsized boat

Poignant tributes have been paid to a “magical” friend and mother who was swept to her death from an overturned boat at the weekend.

Poignant tributes have been paid to a “magical” friend and mother who was swept to her death from an overturned boat at the weekend.

Amie-Rae Drennan, 30, was on a 10ft glass-fibre dinghy at Wainford, near Bungay, on Saturday evening with four others, including her partner and eight-year-old son, when the craft capsized in front of a weir.

Piet Young, one of her oldest friends, said yesterday that everyone who knew Miss Drennan has been left shocked by her sudden death. He said: “Amie-Rae had a magical and musical spirit, which played in tune with the world, bringing many smiles and laughter to all that knew and loved her.

“Her book of life has few pages, but they are filled with love, colour and vibrant adventures. Her zest for life was an inspiration to us all, she will be greatly missed.”

Mr Young said that her partner Chris Thrower has shown great courage and strength when he tried to save Miss Drennan from the underwater currents. “He continues to show that courage now in the face of adversity. Our love goes out to him and the family,” he said.

Mr Young, who shared a house with Miss Drennan as a teenager, said that their group of friends was still trying to come to terms with the death of close friend Graham Fell, a political campaigner, who died of a heart attack during July's Eastern Haze festival at Somerleyton Hall, near Lowestoft.

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Miss Drennan's family, who live in Beech Close, Carlton Colville, spoke earlier in the week and described her as a “loving, thoughtful and loyal family member and friend who crammed more into her 30 years than most people could do in a full lifetime.”

A celebration of her life will take place at Hulver Farm, St Michael South Elmham, from 5pm next Saturday and folk band, Murphy's Lore, of which Miss Drennan was a member, are still planning to play at the Waveney Greenpeace Fair this Sunday in her memory.

Her funeral will be held in Halesworth on September 10 close to where her son Tor, 8, lives with his father.

The inquest into Miss Drennan's death was opened in Norwich yesterday and heard how the group hired a 10ft dinghy and took to the river at Geldeston at about 3pm before traveling along the river for about four hours. They got out of the river at Wainford Sluice, walking a short distance before getting back into the boat.

William Armstrong, coroner for Greater Norfolk, said: “There appears to have been an attempt to start the boat, which was not successful. The boat seems to have drifted and turned round towards the sluice where it then collided with the side of the sluice and filled up rapidly with water falling from the sluice.”

The boat capsized, with all five occupants falling in the water. “Passers-by were able to rescue four of them but sadly Miss Drennan could not be saved and her body was in due course recovered from the river,” said Mr Armstrong. The inquest was adjourned to a later date.

Police were last night still investigating the accident, which took place at about 6.45pm on Saturday . A spokesman for the Broads Authority said that the stretch of river should only be used by boats without motors but could not comment on whether the outboard motor on Miss Drennan's boat contribute to the accident.

The spokesman added: “This part of the river should only be used for rowing boats and canoes, no motors are allowed on this stretch of water as it is privately owned.

“The key message in this situation is that people should always wear life jackets when on the water and take into account the size and stability of the boat in comparison with the number of people on board.”

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