British grandfather, 77, drowns while snorkeling while on Caribbean vacation with his wife
- Gareth Weekes drowned while sailing off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- His family has paid tribute to Weekes, who has been described as a “great” father
A British grandfather drowned while snorkeling while vacationing in the Caribbean with his wife.
Gareth Weekes, 77, was on a sailing trip aboard a yacht with his wife Alison off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he died.
Weekes, an avid sailor described by his family as a “great” father, had gone in the water to snorkel but later drowned.
Since then, tributes have poured in for Weekes, the former editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
His eldest daughter, Veryan Canston, 40, told the Daily Echo: ‘Dad died, he lived – taking risks, having adventures, exploring the world and approaching life with boundless enthusiasm and a huge zest for new experiences. We’re glad he lived through those adventures to the end.’
Gareth Weekes, 77, was on a sailing trip aboard a yacht with his wife Alison off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines when he died (file image)
Weekes’ other daughter, Jenna Fansa, 43, who also worked as a journalist at the Echo, added: “Dad took a very genuine interest in everyone he met – along with his wit and engaging writing style, this made him a very talented journalist. .
Kindness ran through everything he did. He was a great father. We’re so lucky to have had him.’
Weekes was married to school teacher Diane for 35 years until she died in 2004. The couple had three children together: Veryan, Jenna and Bronwen.
He later married Alison Hulls, with whom he was snorkelling when tragedy struck, in 2007.
Alison, who lived with Weekes at their home in Clayhidon, Devon, said: ‘Absolutely everyone described Gareth as a lovely man.
“He had tremendous integrity and empathy with every person he met and this is reflected in the overwhelming response to his tragic and sudden death.”
Weekes also had two stepchildren – Poz Watson and Maddie Flint – as well as 11 grandchildren. He is survived by his two sisters, Carolyn Arthurs and Jane Revill.
He grew up in South Wales and worked in a law firm before becoming a journalist. He edited weekly newspapers in Tavistock and Salisbury before later becoming editor of the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
Under his leadership at the paper, it became the first in the UK to offer a pedophile register, allowing organizations working with children to check the details of those who applied to work with them.