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Man killed in lighthouse fall named

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Police have identified the man who died yesterday after falling from Gibbs Hill Lighthouse as George Ward of Sandys.

The 72-year-old reportedly fell more than 100ft from the top railing of the lighthouse, however police were unable to confirm whether the death was an accident or if he had jumped.

“Out of respect for the family, there are specific details we will not get into at this point,” said police spokesman Dwayne Caines. “It was a tragic incident.

“There is a member of our community who is no longer with us and a family who have to deal with a new reality.”

A Family Liaison Officer has been appointed to the family and the Bermuda Police Service has extended their condolences to the family and friends of Mr Ward.

Detailing the incident, Mr Caines said: “First responders attended a report of the incident that took place at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in Southampton a few minutes before 4pm.

“Upon police arrival it was ascertained that a male fell from the top railing of the lighthouse and soon thereafter he was pronounced dead at the scene.”

There were individuals who witnessed the incident, he added.

The body remained at the scene until after 5pm, having appeared to have landed on the paved area to the west of the lighthouse.

Area MP Leah Scott last night described her shock and sadness at what had happened, and expressed her condolences to the man's family.

“It's just before Christmas and I'm sure his family must be devastated,” she said. “It's just shocking to hear that this happened.”

Members of the Southampton community also expressed their shock at the tragedy.

“It's not something you ever expect to hear about,” said one Lighthouse Hill resident, who asked not to be named. “It's a difficult thing to imagine.”

Another questioned what mechanisms were in place to stop such things from happening.

“If you go to the CN Tower, there's all sorts of netting to stop people,” he said. “I'm surprised we haven't done the same thing yet.”

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, one of the earliest cast-iron lighthouses in the world, was erected in 1844.

Inquiry under way: police at the scene of yesterday's incident (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
On the scene: officers did not reveal whether the man's death was an accident (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Shock and sadness: MP Leah Scott sent condolences to the family (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 18, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 18, 2015 at 12:53 pm)

Man killed in lighthouse fall named

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