Town in mourning pays homage to ‘a lovely guy’ who lost his life in Monday’s accident at the pier

Tributes have been pouring in for Nicholas Perrin from Ilfracombe who was killed on Monday after falling from the pier.

Emergency services were called just before 2.30pm and the town's inshore lifeboat Deborah Brown II went to assist Mr Perrin, who was in the water after suffering suspected head injuries.

It is understood the 58-year-old had been working by the MS Oldenbburg when he fell. He was treated at the lifeboat station and rushed to hospital but died from his injuries.

In a statement his employer The Lundy Company said they were devastated to learn of his tragic death and immediate thoughts were with his family and friends.

"Nick started working with us in April 2014 and this was his second season as a rope-handler," it said.

"The Lundy team is extremely close-knit and the tragic news has come as a huge shock to everyone both ashore and on Lundy.

"Nick was a very popular member of our shore-based team who will be sorely missed.

"It is too early to comment specifically on what caused this tragic accident. We are establishing the facts and details as quickly as we can and are working closely with the relevant authorities to understand exactly what happened to Nick."

Investigation

A North Devon Council statement by chief executive Mike Mansell said: "We are very sad to announce the loss of local man Nick Perrin in an incident involving MS Oldenburg yesterday afternoon.

"The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is leading on the investigation and will report in full in due course.

"In the meantime, our thoughts are with Nick's family and friends at this tragic time."

'Great character'

Facebook pages in the town have been full of tributes, many praising a 'great character' and a 'lovely man'.

Iain Elwell said: "One of Ilfracombe's real characters and genuinely nice guy r.i.p mate."

David Gammon added: "Very sad to hear the news about Nick as an ex coastguard at Ilfracombe I served with Nick who also served as a local coastguard, you were a great chap always there to help others, RIP Nick."
Local councillor Bert Gear said: "Shared a joke with him Saturday at the Yacht Club while he took a break from Birdman, as others have said he always had a smile, a good old 'Combe boy', my thoughts with the family at this difficult time."

Alan Kift said Nick had worked on a couple of his boats in times past: "He was part of the scene down there," he said.

"He was just a fantastic character, a man's man, very hardworking and he will be sadly missed, he was irreplaceable."