Tragedy at sea: Hundreds line streets for funeral of Purbeck Isle skipper David McFarlane

The coffin is carried into the church

People pay their respects

David McFarlane

First published in News Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

HUNDREDS of people lined the streets to pay tribute to the tragic skipper of the Purbeck Isle.

The community turned out in force to say farewell at the funeral of David Jonathan McFarlane, 35, known as Farley.

Well-wishers wore bright colours or surf wear of T-shirts and shorts in memory of the popular skipper.

Mr McFarlane’s surfboard was placed at the front of the church and at one point during the service the Beach Boys hit Surfin’ USA was played.

The Purbeck Isle went out fishing on Thursday, May 17 but never returned, sparking a three-day search and rescue mission.

Mr McFarlane’s body was recovered on Friday, May 18 and the wreck of the boat was discovered nine miles off Portland.

However, crewmen Robert Prowse, 20, and Jack Craig, 22, are still missing and they were remembered in yesterday’s service.

Pallbearers including David’s brother Steven McFarlane carried the coffin into the church to The Kooks song One Last Time.

The congregation sang hymns including For those in Peril on the Sea and The Lord’s my Shepherd.

Mr McFarlane leaves behind his partner of 17 years Vicky Huntley and three daughters Bethany Hunt-ley, 16, Caitlin Huntley, 13, and four-year-old Hope McFarlane-Huntley.

Bethany wrote a tribute to her dad that the Reverend Canon Richard Franklin read out.

In it she said that Mr McFarlane had always been there for her, Caitlin and Hope.

It read: “You have been the most lovable, funny and best dad in the whole world. It’s going to be so hard living without you and not seeing your stupid, cheeky smile.”

Bethany said she had so many memories she could cherish of their time together including going surfing.

The tribute continued: “I’m going to do my absolute best for you and always be there for Caitlin and Hope. It’s hard to find the words to explain to you all how much my dad meant to me and my sisters.

“I’m going to miss him so much.

“I love you daddy with all my heart – you will never be forgotten ever.”

The Rev Franklin said that everyone in the church had ‘happy and joyful’ memories of Mr McFarlane.

He remembered all three crewmen of the Purbeck Isle.

He added: “David, Robert and Jack, may they rest in peace and rise in glory.”

A blessing was said before the coffin was carried out of the church to the Jack Johnson song Better Together.

The family, carrying roses, met friends and well-wishers outside the church before the funeral procession moved slowly off for the private family ceremony at Weymouth Crematorium.

Comments (2)

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2:27pm Thu 31 May 12

jusphil says...

All three of you RIP.
All three of you RIP. jusphil
  • Score: 0

5:26pm Thu 31 May 12

Ex-Amb-Serv says...

When we think our life is tough, please take a moment and remember these 3 men and their families.

Bless You All x
When we think our life is tough, please take a moment and remember these 3 men and their families. Bless You All x Ex-Amb-Serv
  • Score: 0

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