Sailor died ‘doing what he loved best’ , Schull funeral hears

Douglas Perrin (66) died after boat capsized in west Cork last week

Douglas Perrin’s brother thanked emergency services. Pictured is the RNLI at Baltimore Lifeboat Station last week. Photograph: Provision

Douglas Perrin’s brother thanked emergency services. Pictured is the RNLI at Baltimore Lifeboat Station last week. Photograph: Provision


Tributes have been paid to a 66-year-old sailor at his funeral in Co Cork, with mourners hearing he “died doing what he loved best”.

Douglas Perrin died after his boat capsized at the mouth of Schull Harbour last Wednesday. His body was recovered by rescue services the following morning.

Mr Perrin was described by his brother Geoffrey Perrin as a fully qualified, careful sailor who didn’t take risks. “I’m quite sure his last thoughts were for his crew, that they were safe,” he told mourners, including Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork Paul Colton at Holy Trinity Church.

Mr Perrin thanked those who assisted in the rescue of the two survivors of the boating incident, who swam 100m to shore and spent the night on the uninhabited Castle Island in the bay.

He thanked the Navy, the Irish Coast Guard, the RNLI, Schull Community Inshore Rescue Service and the Garda. “They were first to assist in the rescue on Wednesday and they are most welcome here today,” Mr Perrin said.

Recognising that his brother would “hate even the briefest of tributes,” Mr Perrin said he was a gentleman who was generous, personable and warm.

“He was knowledgeable, well informed, with deep convictions and well held views, a wide range of interests, highly personable. He listened to you. He liked to have fun, he was something of a practical joker,” Mr Perrin said.

Sympathisers were told that Douglas and his wife Judith loved west Cork and after many years holidaying in the area, moved permanently to retire two years ago. “Thank you especially to the communities of Ballydehob and Schull, you have made them so welcome,” Geoffrey Perrin said.

Judith chose the word ‘loyalty’ to best describe her late husband, Mr Perrin said. “For those he loved, his loyalty knew no bounds.”

A former teacher at Bloxham in Oxfordshire, Douglas spent 10 years at the school before his retirement. An email sent from the school chaplain described a “courteous, considerate man, generous to all, a man of grace.”

Finally, Geoffrey Perrin said his brother told him just weeks ago how happy he was in west Cork. “He was an Irishman, he told me only three weeks ago how happy he was to be back among his roots,” Mr Perrin said.

Celebrant and local rector, Rev Trevor Lester said Douglas had strong roots in his home, community, church and faith.

“He was a man of many interests, who could speak knowledgeably on many topics, he was a man of quiet action, generous with his time,” Rev Lester said.

Survived by his wife Judith, his brothers Maurice and Geoffrey and sister Angela, relatives and friends, Mr Perrin was laid to rest in Schull cemetery following the service.