Funeral takes place of Coalisland boatman following Lough Erne boating tragedy.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Funeral takes place of Coalisland boatman following Lough Erne boating tragedy. thumbnailMichael Beattie, from Derrywinnin, Coalisland, was a passionate and popular sailor.

THE funeral of a Coalisland man who slipped and drowned in the waters of Lough Erne, was held in Brackaville Presbyterian Church on Friday past.

The body of Michael Beattie, Derrywinnin, who once served as a commodore at Lough Erne Yacht Club, was discovered near the shore of Gublusk Bay about 12 hours after he went missing.

It is understood friends became concerned about the 55-year-old father of one's whereabouts when they came upon his unlocked boat with the lights still on, early on Tuesday morning of last week.

Ahead of his funeral tributes were paid to the passionate sailor.

"He was extremely popular and would have done anything for anyone," said his friend Adrian Lindsay.

"Boating was his passion and he reached the pinnacle when he bought his latest vessel in 2015.

"Michael knew every stone and ripple of that lough, but between hypothermia and drowning he didn't have a chance. It was just too cold.

"He lived, loved and laughed, that was Michael - he will be talked about for many years."

The Rev Andrew Rawding who officiated at the funeral, said Michael and his partner Janice, "spent every possible minute" on the boat.

"They loved their boating life together and were a real team with Michael at the helm and Janice on rope duties - it was their second home," he said.

"Michael made Janice very happy; he was her world and she was his.

They had many happy years together, full of wonderful memories"

The director of Lough Erne Yacht Club, Neil Ireland offered his condolences to the Beattie family.

"The freezing water would have deprived anyone of their strength very quickly," he said.

"Unfortunately very few people are around at night over the Winter months - it was just an extremely tragic set of circumstances.

"Michael put a smile on many faces and will be sorely missed."

After the funeral service at Brackaville Parish Church, Michael was buried beside his parents in the adjoining Churchyard.

He is survived by his partner Janice, his son Leon, grandchild Mason, sisters Sandy and Lyn, brother David and nephew Edie.


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