Tributes paid to care home residents who died in boating tragedy

·2-min read

Tributes have been paid to two care home residents who died in a boating accident.

Alex Wood, 43, and Alison Tilsley, 63, died during an incident on Roadford Lake, near Okehampton, Devon last week.

They were among six people who were thrown into the water when a motorboat capsized on the afternoon of June 8.

Mr Wood and Ms Tilsley, who was known as Ali, were residents at the Burdon Grange care home in nearby Beaworthy.

Ali Tilsley was one of two care home residents who died in a boating accident (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Ali Tilsley was one of two care home residents who died in a boating accident (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

In a statement released by police, Ms Tilsley’s family said: “We are totally devastated by the loss of our beautiful Ali.

“She was the most kind, caring and loving daughter, sister and auntie. She was loved by everyone who ever met her.

“Her sunny nature, positivity, fantastic sense of humour and skill with words will be greatly missed.

“Our hearts are broken forever but the messages of love and support we have received are of great comfort.”

Four people were rescued from the water following the incident.

Alex Wood was killed in the accident last week (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)
Alex Wood died in the accident last week (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

A woman in her 50s continues to receive treatment in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, while another was discharged.

The other two were pulled from the water and checked by paramedics before being discharged at the scene.

The owners of the care home where Mr Wood and Ms Tilsley lived spoke of their shock at their deaths.

In a statement, Stuart and Stephanie Kempton said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of two, much-loved, members of our community.

“Our thoughts are with the families, relatives and friends of the people who lost their lives, and with our residents and staff at our care home.

“Our thoughts are also with one of our residents, who remains in hospital, and their family.

“We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response to the tragedy and their continuing support, during this extremely difficult time.”

Devon and Cornwall Police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have opened investigations.

The force is also liaising with the office of the Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner.

A spokesman for the coroner said “preliminary inquires are ongoing at this time”.

Last week, the MAIB declined to comment on reports the victims were in wheelchairs at the time, or if investigators would look to determine whether they were strapped into the boat and were wearing buoyancy aids.

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