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Memorial bench for fisherman lost at sea delights his family
THE family of Purbeck Isle fisherman Robert Prowse have said they are delighted with a new bench in his memory.
Sited on the harbourside the bench was made and donated by prisoners at HMP Verne, who undertook a 24-hour triathlon to raise the money.
Robert, 20, was lost to the sea after the Weymouth boat sank off Portland last year.
The bench was made at the Portland prison and Robert’s parents Pete and Maxine and brother Peter visited the Verne on the day of the event to cheer the men on.
Robert’s family said they were delighted with the bench and thanked the men at Verne for all their hard work and thanked Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for putting it in place.
Robert’s family, including his daughters Sinead and Lily, both two, gathered at the bench, together with representatives from the Verne and the borough council.
Pete Prowse, Robert’s father said he wanted to thank everyone at HMP Verne who worked hard building and fundraising for the bench.
Robert’s mum Maxine said it meant everything to Robert’s family to have the memorial.
She said: “At last his family and friends have somewhere to go.”
Robert’s granddad George Prowse said the men at Verne had done a great job. He said that Robert was always down on the harbourside fishing and crabbing.
Dorothy Prowse, Robert’s grandma said: “The men at Verne did a great job and we appreciate it a lot.”
Robert’s aunt Josephine Hayne said: “It’s well made and the men should be proud of themselves.”
The bench overlooks Weymouth lifeboat station and all the fishing and leisure boats will go past it on their way in and out of the harbour.
Robert’s cousin Jasmine Jackson, 16, said that ‘everything that was Robert’ was on the harbourside, he spent so much time there and loved the sea.
She said: “We couldn’t have picked a better spot for Robert really. It’s like it was made for Robert this spot.”
SPECIAL HARBOURSIDE PLACE
PE officer from HMP Verne Steve Shayler said it was nice to see the finished bench in place on the harbourside.
He said: “I’m really proud of the boys for what they did.”
He said the teams had worked very hard to cover 3,065 miles – the distance from Weymouth, UK, to Weymouth, Massachusetts in the USA in 24 hours.
One of the men, Leon, was able to go down to the bench unveiling.
He said it was great to see the bench in place. He said: “It’s nice. It really stands out.”
Steve Mounce from the borough council’s parking services department said: “We are delighted to have been able to help the family.”
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