The heartbroken families of the two Northumberland fishermen who were found dead on board a fishing boat have described the pair as hard-working and doting fathers with a passion for the sea.
Mark Arries, 26, from Amble, and Edward Ide, 21, who was from the town but was living in Blyth, were discovered in their beds on the morning of Wednesday, January 15, in Whitby harbour.
The friends had been working on the vessel M22 Eshcol and it is believed that they were victims of carbon-monoxide poisoning, but other lines of inquiry are on-going.
Mark’s death is the second tragedy in a matter of months for the family, after he and fiancée Kim Grieve lost their daughter, Skye Hope, just four days after she was born.
Edward, known as Eddie or Sloppy, and Mark were both fathers to young children and their deaths have rocked all who knew and loved them.
Their families are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
Mark’s sister, Katy Stewart, 20, said: “It’s easy to worry when they’re out at sea, but it’s unimaginable that they died in the safety of the harbour.”
Sarah-Louise Tait, 21, who had been with Eddie for just over a year, added: “He said that if he was going to die, he would die a fisherman.”
The boat had been forced to stay in the harbour overnight on Tuesday because of poor weather conditions and the pair were due to come home on the Wednesday.
Mark leaves behind mother Tracey, father John, fiancée Kim, son Aiden, five, and daughter Lexi Faith, who is just five months old. There is also older brother Simon and sister Katy.
Paying tribute to her son, Tracey said: “I was so proud of Mark. He was a hard-working man who was completely devoted to his family. I’m devastated.”
Kim added: “Mark was a loving, doting partner and father who was cheeky and liked to work his ticket. Wherever Mark went, smiles and laughter would always follow.”
Katy said she looked up to her brother and told the Gazette: “He will be a great miss. We are devastated.
“The thought that we won’t hear his laugh or see his smile again is unbearable.
“He worked hard for his family which is why he went to Whitby, so he could earn a decent wage for his family.”
Mark started fishing at an early age, going to sea with his father and other boats.
Tracey said: “It was all he ever wanted to do. He was brought up in a fishing family. Even when he wasn’t on the boat he’d be fishing off the pier.”
His hobbies included rod fishing, watching the Deadliest Catch and spending time with his family.
In August last year, Mark and Kim had twins, Skye Hope and Lexi Faith, but sadly Skye passed away four days later at Wansbeck Hospital due to complications at her birth.
Katy said: “This is a lovely little family which has been torn apart twice now due to tragedy.
“Even when Mark was going through the loss of his child and we were all at a loss for what to say he’d always make us crack a smile with his silly jokes.”
Eddie leaves behind father Tony and partner Jane, his mother Gail and partner Lee, as well as siblings Shannon, 12, Robson, 14, Connor, 18 and Tony, 20.
He met Sarah-Louise at Christmas 2012 and the pair had a baby together, four-month-old Charlie Oliver Edward Ide.
“He was everything and he would do anything for anybody,” said Sarah-Louise, who added that the couple were close to becoming engaged. She plans to make a book for Charlie as a memorial to his daddy.
“He absolutely adored Charlie. He was a doting father and all he wanted to do was to see Charlie grow up.
“He said that as soon as Charlie was old enough to wear wellies, he was going to go fishing.”
Just like Mark, Eddie loved the sea and being a fisherman was all he ever wanted to do.
Having started fishing at a young age, Eddie was a talented angler and was Amble Sea Angling Club’s junior champion a number of times. Aside from fishing, Eddie played in the Blyth and District Pool League, and enjoyed darts.
He also loved karaoke, especially singing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.
Father Tony said: “He was a good lad and he will be missed by a lot of people.”
The pair were educated at Amble’s Coquet High School, which is now James Calvert Spence College.
Peter Fleet, who was head of year to both Mark and Eddie, paid his respects.
He said: “Mark was pleasant, very compliant and personable and he wanted to go to sea on the fishing boats, it was his passion.
“He was determined that this is what he’d eventually do as a career and even in Year 9 he was very knowledgeable about all aspects of fishing.
“Edward was quiet at school and was very biddable. He had a close group of friends and liked to hang around with some of the older lads who had an interest in fishing, so it was not surprising that he eventually went to sea.”
MP Sir Alan Beith is writing to the families of both fishermen and said their deaths were devastating for their loved ones and the Amble community.
There is no date set for Mark’s funeral but it will be family flowers only. The family are asking for people to make a donation to the RNLI.
Eddie’s funeral is being held on Wednesday at St Cuthbert’s Church, Amble, at 1.30pm, and then Blyth Crematorium at 3pm.
The family say they also want to raise money for the RNLI.