Boating tragedy claims the life of community stalwart

Popular: Owen Visick aboard his boat
Popular: Owen Visick aboard his boat
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Tributes have been paid to a popular church official and former businessman who has died in a boating tragedy.

Owen Visick, who lived in the High Street, Pevensey, with his wife Gill and had recently celebrated his 80th birthday, had been reported missing on Tuesday lunchtime by his family after his empty boat was found floating in reeds on a stretch of the River Rother near Rye.

Police say the river was searched and Mr Visick’s body was discovered on Thursday morning (June 22).

A family spokesperson said Mr Visick, who started Visick Cars, was a wonderful man who loved boating and spending time with family and friends.

At St Nicolas Church, where Mr Visick was a past churchwarden, George Stephens said, “It is a shock to all, and his loss is both tragic and great.”

A spokesperson at Sussex Police said, “Police received a report an 80-year-old man was missing from his boat on the River Rother. The boat had been found unoccupied on the stretch between Wittersham Road near Iden and Newenden.

“A search of the river took place by Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue and the volunteer Sussex Search and Rescue Team. Sadly the body of a man was found by searchers in the same stretch of river. The death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.”