Tributes have been paid to Gary Fyfe, operations manager at Redbay Boats, who has died suddenly.
Gary, who was a helm on the RNLI’s Red Bay inshore lifeboat and a Coxswain on the station’s all-weather lifeboat, died in a single-vehicle car accident in Cushendall, Northern Ireland, just days before his 47th birthday.
In a statement, Redbay Boats said the team had lost a brother, a son and a true friend and said the business would remain closed until further notice.
And a spokesperson from Red Bay Lifeboat said Gary, who signed up to be a lifeboat volunteer on turning 17-years-old, called him ‘a giant in the lifeboat station, a natural leader who everyone turned to for advice and guidance’.
“Gary was responsible for saving many lives during his years on the Red Bay lifeboat,” said the spokesperson. “He never sought recognition or praise for his rescues but rather carried his achievements lightly and thought only of others.”
And Ultimate Boats offered its condolences stating: “Gary was not only a respected figure in the maritime industry but also a cherished community member whose contributions have left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.
“Gary’s dedication to maritime safety, his leadership within the RNLI community, and his pivotal role at Redbay Boats have been sources of inspiration to many, including us at Ultimate Boats. His passion for the sea and commitment to excellence in boat craftsmanship have resonated far beyond Cushendall, touching the hearts and minds of people across the marine community.”
This year would have seen Gary receive his 30-year service medal for lifesaving.
He leaves his wife, Clare and two children, Eleanor and Alexander.