Missing windsurfer’s body found

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By ALEXANDER LAWRIE

THE BODY of a man found washed up on the Fife coastline has been identified as missing surfer Nigel Dawes.

Married-father-of-three, Nigel Dawes, 44, of Gordon, Berwickshire, was reported lost when he failed to return to shore off the coast of Eyemouth on April 7 sparking a huge rescue effort.

Just hours after he disappeared his prized surfboard was found abandoned, but since then there has been no sign of the popular sportsman anywhere.

But yesterday (Fri) police confirmed the body found near to the shore at Kirkcaldy on Saturday was that of Mr Dawes.

They confirmed there are no there are no suspicious circumstances, and a report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Family heartbroken

Just days after he went missing it emerged Mr Dawes, a self-employed joiner, and his grieving wife Carys gave birth to a little girl around six weeks previously.

His heartbroken family, including wife Carys, asked to be left alone in their grief yesterday.

But Mr Dawes’ local minister Brian Talbot, of Selkirk Baptist Church, paid tribute to the “exuberant and well-liked” church-goer.

He said: “It’s a terrible tragedy because the couple just had a baby girl six weeks ago.

“They also have two older boys.

“Carys is still understandably distraught.

“But the whole community is pulling together and her mum and dad who live nearby have been wonderful.

“He was a wonderfully dedicated, father, husband and human being.

“Nigel absolutely loved life and was such an exuberant and effervescent character.

“He really was loved, admired and well-liked by the whole community, and as an active member of the church he was also very well respected.”

Public memorial

Mr Dawes, a fit and enthusiastic sportsman, was described as a “keen and experienced” windsurfer who would often be seen enjoying the waves off the East coast.

Mr Talbot added: “The family are very distraught, as you can imagine, but will hopefully be remembering Nigel with a public memorial sometime in the near future.

“It will be an outdoor ceremony because that is how Nigel would have liked it.”

Mr Dawes was last seen around 4pm on Tuesday, April 7 off the coast between Thorntonloch and Cove, about 12 miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The alarm was raised by a friend at around 6pm, and all-weather and inshore lifeboats from Dunbar, Eyemouth and St Abbs were all involved in the search.

They were joined for several hours by an RAF rescue helicopter, but the search was stood down after two days.

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