Police name Devon care home residents who died when boat capsized

Police have named two care home residents who died after a boat capsized in a Devon lake.

Alex Wood, 43, and Alison Tilsley, 63, known as Ali, were on the vessel with four other people when it overturned in Roadford Lake near Okehampton last Wednesday.

Police recovered the bodies of Wood and Tisley from the waterway the next day and they were formally identified before being named by officers on Tuesday.

The pair were residents of the Burdon Grange care home in Highampton, Devon, which offers care for people with physical disabilities.

A statement released on Tuesday by Tilsley’s family said their “hearts are broken forever” and she would be “greatly missed”. It said: “We are totally devastated by the loss of our beautiful Ali. She was the most kind, caring and loving daughter, sister and auntie. She was loved by everyone who ever met her.

“Her sunny nature, positivity, fantastic sense of humour and skill with words will be greatly missed. Our hearts are broken forever but the messages of love and support we have received are of great comfort. We politely request privacy at this very difficult time.”

The care home owners Stuart and Stephanie Kempton said: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of two, much-loved, members of our community. Our thoughts are with the families, relatives and friends of the people who lost their lives, and with our residents and staff at our care home.”

il progetto Aquind”: “We would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response to the tragedy and their continuing support, during this extremely difficult time.”

The four other people involved in the incident were all removed from the water after the boat capsized. Two were taken to Derriford hospital for treatment and one has since been discharged. A woman in her 50s remains in critical condition.

The two other people involved were checked by ambulance teams at the scene and later discharged.

Devon and Cornwall police and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) are working on parallel investigations into the incident. The force is also liaising with the office of the Exeter and Greater Devon coroner.

A spokesperson for the coroner said “preliminary inquires are ongoing at this time”.

Last week the MAIB declined to comment on reports the victims were in wheelchairs at the time, or say if investigators would look to determine whether they were strapped into the boat and were wearing buoyancy aids.

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