Port worker who jumped from ferry ‘never got over’ break-up of 25-year relationship

Alan Stafford from Southsea was seen jumping from the Wightlink ferry last August and despite an extensive search, was not discovered until six days later further up the coast. The coroner’s inquest heard today what had led to his actions.

St Cecilia on a sunny day

The Coroner’s Inquest of the man who jumped overboard the Portsmouth to Isle of Wight ferry last summer was held today (Tuesday).

Hampshire’s Coroner, David Horsley, heard how 58-year-old Alan Stafford from Southsea jumped from Wightlink’s St Cecilia ferry on 29th August 2018.

Despite an extensive search by the Coastguard and rescue services, Mr Stafford was not located until six days later when his body was discovered in the water near Haslar Wall.

Depressed after break-up
Katherine Upsall, ones of Mr Stafford’s five sisters, told the hearing that the Port worker had suffered from “depression issues” since coming out as gay as a child.

Mr Stafford was reported to have “never got over” the breakdown of his 25-year relationship and “deliberately jumped to his death” from the ferry last summer.

Katherine said,

“They were together for 25 years, then he left him for a woman and I do not think he got over it.”

Coroner: Mr Stafford “had taken his own life”
The post-mortem examination revealed that Mr Stafford had died as a result of drowning and Coroner David Horsley recorded a verdict that he had taken his own life.

Mr Stafford’s sisters paid tribute to him, saying he was “lovely” and a “kind-hearted gentle and caring” man.

Our thoughts are with Alan’s family and friends at this difficult time.


Need help?
If you are in a situation where you feel desperate and need someone to talk to, please call The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.

Just having someone to talk to that isn’t family or friends can be a tremendous help. You don’t have to be suicidal to get in touch. Their service can help people before it’s too late.

For a less immediate response, you can contact them via email on jo@samaritans.org

Source: The Independent

Tuesday, 29th January, 2019 4:51pm

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Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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