Tributes paid to ‘caring’ grandparents after bodies found in submerged car

Josh Payne, PA
·1-min read

Tributes have been paid to “loving, caring” grandparents who were found in a submerged car in the River Trent following a two-week search operation.

John Lillistone, 83, and Patricia Lillistone, 82, of Lowdham, were in a vehicle which entered the water at Hoveringham, between Newark and Nottingham, on the evening of February 1, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Following the huge search operation, which involved an aeroplane, helicopters and police dive teams, their bodies were recovered on Saturday.

The car had been located on the riverbed using sonar equipment just days after it was seen floating along the River Trent, but high water levels hampered efforts to recover it.

Mr and Mrs Lillistone were removed from the water at around 10.30am on Saturday.

John and Patricia Lillistone (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
John and Patricia Lillistone (Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

In a statement issued after their bodies were recovered, the couple’s family said: “John and Patricia were loving, caring parents and grandparents who were always there for family and friends.

“Our family is devastated by the loss of two wonderful people and they will be dearly missed by all.

“We have many happy memories of our time spent together that we will cherish forever.

“We would like to thank the emergency services and other agencies involved for their tireless effort and support at this very difficult time.”

Police said sonar technology and an underwater drone were used to monitor the location of the vehicle, which has also now been removed from the water.

Inspector Tim Ringer, who led the recovery operation, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family of the deceased who have asked for their privacy to be respected at what I know is an immensely difficult time.”

A file will now be prepared for the coroner.