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Candle ceremony at Lyme Regis for lost skipper
POIGNANT MOMENT: Grace and Colin McFarlane, left watch the first candle lit in memory of their son David and other fishermen lost on the Purbeck Isle
THE parents of one of the fishermen lost in the Purbeck Isle tragedy lit one of the first Candles on the Cobb at Lyme Regis for this year’s event in a moving and poignant ceremony.
Grace and Colin McFarlane of Weymouth lit the tiny flame in memory of their son David, skipper of the fishing boat which sank off Portland in May and his colleagues Jack Craig, whose body was recovered last week and Robert Prowse, who is still missing.
Their light was one of 5,000 tea-lights that left the Cobb ablaze with light on Sunday evening in an event watched by an estimated 20,000 people.
Mrs McFarlane said she and her husband had been very moved by the event.
She said: “I was really quite choked. It was amazing, the whole Cobb was lit up within about 20 minutes and then to turn round and see the gardens above completely full of people.
“We lit the candle for our son and for the other crewmembers and it was an absolute honour.”
Mrs McFarlane said she had wanted to light a candle on the Cobb in 2005 when she had been suffering from breast cancer but was too ill to attend but was delighted at the suggestion that they should take part in this year’s ceremony.
Candles on the Cobb Organiser Mike Higgs said that the event, which sees thousands of people buy a candle in memory of a loved one which is lit on their behalf to light up the Cobb, had gone fantastically well.
“It was an absolutely glorious evening,” he said.
“It was very poignant and very emotional. It was a bit strange because the wind had been blowing and I thought we wouldn’t be able to light the candles, but suddenly the wind just stopped and it was beautiful to see.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the local lifeboat crew, the powerboat club, the Harbour- master Grahame Forshaw and everybody who helped set up the candles and lit them.”
The evening ended with a spectacular firework display and the RNLI lifeboat crew set off six parachute flares which bathed Lyme Regis in light as a finale.
The weekend had also included live music events and a torchlit parade on Saturday night.
Mr Higgs said that it was too early to assess exactly how much had been raised, but that “many thousands of pounds” would be going to Help for Heroes and Lyme Regis Youth organisations.