Riverside tribute to Bideford hero
DOZENS of people gathered in the cold on Bideford s quayside on Monday to pay tribute to local hero Sean Griffiths. On the first anniversary of his death, family members attached a memorial plaque to a bench on the quayside overlooking the River Torridge,
DOZENS of people gathered in the cold on Bideford's quayside on Monday to pay tribute to local hero Sean Griffiths.
On the first anniversary of his death, family members attached a memorial plaque to a bench on the quayside overlooking the River Torridge, where Sean, 40, lost his life while trying to rescue a friend.
Sean made the ultimate sacrifice when he plunged into the icy river in the early hours of the morning in an attempt to rescue teenager Scott Mason.
Scott was subsequently rescued by a lifeboat crew. Sean was pulled from the water by local policewoman PC Jeanne Hellyer, but died in hospital four days later.
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The memorial plaque was screwed into place on the bench by Sean's brothers Lance Tinker and Warren Mostyn and sisters Leigh Loder and Justine Hodgson.
It bears the inscription: "In memory of Sean D Griffiths 30/10/68-22/02/09. For the ultimate act of bravery. Loved and missed by all who knew him."
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Bideford minister the Rev Alan Glover led a dedication ceremony. He read from St John's Gospel: "Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for his friends."
After a minute's silence friends and family members threw floral tributes into the river and released red balloons. A lone piper played.