Tributes to Norfolk lifeboat hero killed in tragedy

Tributes have been paid to a heroic lifeboatman who died in a tragic accident in a Norfolk village.

Harry Wood, 80, who died in the accident at his home in Horning last week, was a decorated lifeboatman who helped save lives off the East coast.

For more than 40 years, Mr Wood served as crewman and head launcher at the lifeboat station in Bridlington, in Yorkshire, where he won awards for his rescues.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution issued a statement paying tribute to Mr Wood, who joined the crew at Bridlington in the early 1950s and continued until his retirement in 1999, after which he moved to Norfolk.

The RNLI detailed a string of Mr Wood's achievements as a lifeboat man, including how, in 1967, he rescued two boys who had fallen down the cliffs at Flamborough.

Mr Wood was awarded the RNLI's Vellum certificate, which was the first ever to be awarded for an inshore boat rescue.

Almost a year later he was one of the crew when coxswain John King was awarded the bronze medal when the offshore lifeboat stood by the fishing vessel Maria F in a south easterly gale.

Most Read

In 1980 he was part of a crew which saw coxswain Fred Walkington MBE awarded a Vellum for his part in the rescue of three fishermen after their boat The Three Fevers sank.

In 1985 Mr Wood, along with his son Nick, received a further bravery award as a crew member for the rescue of two adults and two children from the yacht Sula Sula.

As well as Nick, Mr Wood leaves his wife Pat and daughter Sally.

A spokesman for Bridlington Lifeboat Station said: 'At this time our thoughts are very much with Pat, Nick and Sally. Harry was a great character and his contribution to Bridlington Lifeboat will not be forgotten.'

Keen sailor Mr Wood, who worked as a joiner and builder, also carried out work on many RNLI stations and boats and was a retained fireman for many years.

He died after getting trapped under his car in his his driveway. It is thought he was backing out of the drive when his car door become caught up in a gatepost and he was dragged underneath the vehicle.

Firefighters from Wroxham and Sprowston managed to release him from beneath the automatic 4X4 car, and he was treated by paramedics, but he died of his injuries.

Police closed off School Road, in Horning, after the tragedy, which happened at around 6am on Friday. Officers have been investigating what happened.

Neighbours, who spoke highly of Mr Wood, said they thought Mr Wood and his wife had been due to head out for a holiday in Spain before the tragedy happened.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong has been informed of the death and an inquest is expected to open shortly.