ISLAND COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF DEDICATED VOLUNTEER GARY SPEARMAN

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The voluntary sector and the wider community is mourning the loss of Gary Spearman, who died yesterday (Easter Sunday) following a battle with cancer.

Gary will be known to many for his years of service with organisations such as Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat, Ryde Inshore Rescue, the British Red Cross and WightSAR.

Over the years he volunteered hundreds – if not thousands – of hours of his time to help support those in need, be it at sea or on dry land.

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As a boy, Gary had a keen interest in the fire service and could be regularly found watching drill nights at Ryde Fire Station. Unable to join the fire service, he went on to provide years of public service through the voluntary sector.

With Gary’s health deteriorating, the decision was taken by Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Apter to appoint Gary as an Honoury Firefighter on 31st March. This appointment was made on the final day of operations for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service with a certificate presented at Mountbatten Hospice by FF Damon Corr and FF David Lines of Ryde Fire Station.

Gary, who was born on the Island in 1984, died on the morning of Sunday 4th April 2021.

Numerous tributes have been paid to Gary over the past 24 hours. Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team, who regularly worked alongside Gary, have said:

“The Isle of Wight Search and Rescue family lost one of its most professional, selfless and dedicated members.

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“Gary has helped to rescue so many people over the years yet most don’t even know his name. RIP Gary you will be missed by all of us.”

Island Echo’s thoughts are with Gary’s family, friends and colleagues at this time

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Matthew Robinson
Matthew Robinson
11 days ago

Can’t believe Big G has gone…. such a loss.
Goodbye mate. Rest easy.

Anon
Anon
10 days ago

A true gentleman and all round great guy! Gave me so much advice and help when I first joined Ryde inshore and was always on hand to help! So many people helped and rescued due to his selfless personality! Such a tragic loss and you will be dearly missed! Rest easy old bean,

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Anon
10 days ago

Gary worked at Hovertravel, some years ago according to friends and they said he only accepted the crew members job on the condition that he could be released at a moments notice, if he had a shout for the inshore rescue. Needless to say, they (Hovertravel) made sure he could go as and when needed by the inshore rescue that he loved so much.

Lea
Lea
10 days ago

Gary always talked about being a firefighter for as long as I can remember, he was always so cheerful, and had an amazing laugh, very determined and passionate! Love you Gary, sweet dreams xxxxxx

John Smith
John Smith
9 days ago

It’s the good ones that get taken too early.

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