TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘true seafarer’ who has died following a serious collision earlier this month.
Eddie Ault, 73, was well-known across Hayling and Havant for his passion for sailing, which took him all over the world.
He is best remembered for sailing his beautiful clinker built boat Florence, although his ability was widely tested through trans-Atlantic crossings and cruising in many parts of the world, a true sea-farer.Ian Grant
On September 9 he was driving his TVR sports car from Hayling on to the A27 at Havant when it was involved in an accident with a lorry and two other cars.
He suffered serious head, back and neck injuries and was cut from the vehicle by firefighters.
In a statement Mr Ault’s family said: ‘He received fantastic care from the paramedics, accident and emergency at University Hospital Southampton and the Wessex Neurological Centre.
‘Despite their very best efforts, he died peacefully from his injuries on September 25, with his family beside him.
‘He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.’
The statement added: ‘Mr Ault was a father and grandfather. He retired as secretary of Mengeham Rythe Sailing Club four-years ago and became the security officer.’
Ian Grant, president of the sailing club, said: ‘It was with great sadness that the members of Mengeham Rythe Sailing Club received the news that Eddie had passed away.
‘Flags were flown at half mast in respect of this sad event and all reflected on the generous contribution Eddie had made since joining the club in 1978.
‘The Ault family had been brought up in the sailing community, with both his son and daughter enjoying sailing in the beautiful surroundings of Chichester Harbour.
‘Eddie provided support to all aspects of the club but, in particular, he served as Honorary Club Secretary from 2001 to 2011 and was latterly responsible for security of the club premises, and much more.
‘He is best remembered for sailing his beautiful clinker-built boat Florence, although his ability was widely tested through trans-Atlantic crossings and cruising in many parts of the world. A true seafarer.
‘His support and gentle humour will be greatly missed, but his contribution to our club will be enduring.
‘Our thoughts are with Ann and the family at this sad time’.
The accident happened at 9.50am on Wednesday, September 9 on the sliproad on to the A27 from Hayling.
The other cars involved were an Audi and Toyota.
The carriageway was closed for three hours leading to gridlock across Havant town centre and on to Hayling.
No arrests have been made, but police are appealing for witnesses to the accident and would like to speak to anyone with information.
Please call the Serious Collision Investigation Unit at Hampshire Constabulary on 101, quoting Operation Download.