Dozens take to water for tribute to lifeguard Will

Surfers form a circle out at sea in memory of Will Hogg.
Surfers form a circle out at sea in memory of Will Hogg.

DOZENS of friends and relatives of a North Tyneside lifeguard got together on Friday to mark the second anniversary of his death.

Around 100 people took part in a memorial paddle out in memory of Will Hogg, formerly chairman of Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade.

The 59-year-old was killed by a heart attack on September 2, 2009, while taking part in a four-mile charity swim from St Mary’s Lighthouse to Tynemouth Pier.

Surfers, fellow lifeguards, friends and Will’s wife Susie, son, also called Will, and daughter Stephanie took part in Friday’s paddle out at Tynemouth Longsands, observing a minute’s silence in the water.

Organisations represented included the volunteer life brigade, Tynemouth Pool and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

John Millard, a friend of Will’s, said: “It was a sad day when he died.

“It was heart-wrenching – he was a great man – but this was more of a celebration, remembering the good times.

“People were throwing flowers into the sea.

“It was a great turnout by everyone who loved him.

“There were lots of bystanders on the beach and the promenade watching.

“Even some surfers who were on holiday held their own paddle out wherever they were, taking a minute to hold their own little remembrance.

“We’re all a tight-knit community.

“We’re going to do this every year.”

Brigade captain Peter Lilley added: “It’s a nice way to remember Will.

“It’s great to form a circle in the sea, hold hands and have a minute’s silence.

“It’s a great way for all the people and organisations that knew Will and worked with him to come together and remember him.”