Man who died in river tragedy was helping his son set up military surplus sales business in Ely
- Credit: Archant
The man who died in a river tragedy in Ely had been helping his son locally to set up a small business selling military surplus equipment and clothing.
Police were called to Cathedral Marina on Friday morning and recovered the body of a man who had fallen into the water overnight.
Cambs police say the death is being treated as non-suspicious and details have been passed to the coroner.
The man is thought to have been staying with his son who lived aboard the £20,000, 1970s four-berth 34 ft boat Elysian Lady that had been moored opposite the Cutter Inn.
River users have spoken of the tragedy and said that the man had only been living there for a short period whilst the business became established.
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Within the past month they had a secured an outlet in the Riverside Antiques centre and also traded from a stall on Ely market,
“He was a lovely man and very quiet and polite,” said a fellow river user who knew him socially.
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Last Thursday the river user said it had been snowing during the evening “and the pontoons were very wet and slippery. Parts of the pontoons are covered in chicken wire but most parts are not making them extremely slippery when wet.”
Another local river user, who also asked for anonymity, said: “I just hope lessons are learnt from this tragedy.
“I am now really concerned about safety here. There are no lights along the dirt road and it is all too easy to fall in without any way of getting out.”
The marina is owned by Jalsea Marine Services Ltd based in Cheshire but who took over the Cathedral Marina in Ely in 2006.
Jalsea director Jeremy Tyrrell said the tragedy “was a very upsetting situation” and the incident was being dealt with by police.
A police spokesman said identification of the dead man would come via the Cambridgeshire coroner
“The death is being as non-suspicious so it’s been passed to the coroner,” said the spokesman. “They will do the identification, not us I’m afraid.”
The Government’s health and safety executive said: “We have spoken with our inspectors regarding your inquiry. They have informed us that this is a matter for the police.”