Gary Cornelius: Tribute paid to Hastings fisherman who died in sea tragedy

A fisherman who died after falling from a fishing boat off the coast of Hastings has been remembered for his sense of humour and work ethic.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 12:42 pm
Gary Cornelius. Picture: REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge SUS-210508-121800001

Gary Cornelius died in hospital after being recovered from the sea having fallen from a commercial fishing boat on Thursday (July 29) at about 10am.

Despite being airlifted to Eastbourne District General Hospital, he sadly died there, a police spokesman said.

Police said his next of kin had been informed and that enquiries were ongoing.

This week, Glenn Veness, a close friend of Gary’s, paid tribute to him and said: “I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Gary ‘Corny’ Cornelius last week. He epitomised the fishermen with his sense of humour combined with his work ethic.

“I had the pleasure of sitting on the beach with Corny, drinking in the Nelson and playing football together.

“I sat with him outside Obie’s fishing hut just two weeks ago. I hadn’t seen him for a year or more, so we had a good chat.

“He always made me laugh. He reminded me of when we played football for the London Trader and how I always had my boots in a Tescos carrier bag. He recalled how once for an evening game at Battle I opened my Tescos carrier bag, only to find a tin of beans, an onion and some potatoes! I ended up spraying my Pimms all over his chest!

“I feel very lucky, if that’s the right word, to have this as a final memory of a dear friend.”

The coastguard said its helicopter from Lydd and RNLI lifeboats from Hastings were called to a ‘mayday broadcast’ related to a fishing vessel with two people on board, south of Hastings at 9.30am on Thursday.