Final farewell to skipper of the Purbeck Isle

Dorset Echo: MAKE A DONATION: Chris Baker and Caroline Cashman with the Purbeck Isle collection box at Chapelhay Tavern MAKE A DONATION: Chris Baker and Caroline Cashman with the Purbeck Isle collection box at Chapelhay Tavern

THE funeral of the skipper of the Purbeck Isle will take place tomorrow.

David McFarlane’s service will take place at 11.30am at Holy Trinity Church by the Town Bridge on the harbourside.

Mr McFarlane lost his life when the vessel sank off Portland.

The bodies of his crewmen Jack Craig and Robert Prowse have not been found. The service for Mr McFarlane will be followed by a private cremation service.

People can pay their respects at the church or along the harbourside after the service as the cortege makes its way to the crematorium.

Afterwards a gathering will be held at the King’s Arms on the harbourside.

The family have requested family flowers only but donations will be divided between the RNLI and the Purbeck Isle Memorial Fund.

The family have said that black clothing is not necessary as Mr McFarlane would want people to dress casually or in bright colours.

The funeral cars will be arriving at the church via Hope Square and along the harbourside opposite the Purbeck Isle’s berth.

Meanwhile, the community is continuing to give generously to the memorial fund set up in memory of the three men.

Shops, restaurants and pubs across Dorset have responded to the appeal to put collection tins on bars and counters to encourage the public to give to a charity set up to help the families of David McFarlane, 35, Jack Craig, 22, and Robert Prowse, 20.

The deaths of the three fishermen after their boat, the Purbeck Isle, sank off the coast of Portland prompted a huge response from the community.

There are now more than 160 collection tins across the county in aid of the charity, set up by the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association.

For some, the money is being raised in memory of friends.

Chris Baker, who owns the Chapelhay Tavern in Franchise Street, said he knew all the fishermen.

He said: “They would come and drink in here from time to time. I wanted to do something in their memory.”

The collection tin at the tavern is in the form of a swear box, with offenders paying 50p per word.

Mr Baker added: “We’ve raised quite a bit so far, though I think most of it is from our barmaid.”

Other donations are from families who have worked as fishermen for decades. Christine Miller, whose son Levi, 15, represents the 10th generation of the family to work in the trade, owns Cove Fish in Lulworth Cove.

She said: “My husband, Joe, is a fisherman, and my son goes out at weekends and in the school holidays.

“We just wanted to show our support as a fishing family.”

She added: “I think a lot of local people appreciate what effort goes into fishing, and we have had quite a positive response to the collection so far.”

Andy Alcock secretary of the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Boatmen’s and Fishermen’s Association said collectors were doing ‘a fantastic job’.

He added: “The message is, just keep collecting.

“Do as much as you can and talk to us about it.”

To discuss ideas with the charity, email them at purbeckislememorialfund@gmail.com or go to the Sailor’s Return, St Nicholas Street, Weymouth.

CASH donations or cheques payable to the Weymouth and Portland Licensed Fishermen’s and Boatmen’s Association can be dropped in to the Dorset Echo offices on the Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth, at Antelope Walk in Dorchester or at East Street in Bridport.

They can also be posted to Purbeck Isle Appeal, Dorset Echo, Fleet House, Hampshire Road, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 9XD. To donate by credit card, visit www.dorsetecho.co.uk/donate Donations can also be made at more than 80 locations across the county.

To help in any way, please contact the Echo newsdesk on 01305 830999.

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