The mothers of the two fishermen lost at sea have both welcomed calls for a plaque to be erected to their sons on the beautiful Man and Boy statue on Brixham harbour.

And fishing communities around the world will be shining lights in a mass event on December 5 in memory of Adam Harper and Robert Morley, lost when the Joanna C capsized.

A plan to turn out all the lights in a two minute silence was called off after Adam’s mother revealed that her son was afraid of the dark and asked people to shine a light instead in his honour.

On Saturday December 5 at 6.14pm – to mirror the time of Saturday morning’s 6.14am distress call – people in Brixham are being asked to shine lights into the air in tribute.

The idea was first suggested by David Simpson in response to an earlier call for a two minute lights out event. But Adam’s mother Sarah Jayne Harper said that would not be fitting as her son was afraid of the dark.

David said: “After the amount of people that thought it was a great gesture to turn our lights off for two minutes I thought that Adam’s mum was so brave to say about her son being afraid of the dark.

Adam Harper and Robert Morley lost at sea when the fishing boat Joanna C from Brixham sank

“So I am thinking about December 5th which is a week on Saturday at 18.14. That’s what time the distress signal was sounded on Saturday morning. Adam’s mum requested that we all shine a light in the air at the same time.”

The request has so far had nearly 2,500 shares on Facebook. Fishing communities all over the world are promising to join in.

Carolyn and Tony Rowe, who started a fundraiser which has brought donations of more than £36,500 from all over the world, suggested the permanent memorial at the spot where hundreds of flowers, candles and messages of support have been gathering ever since the Joanna C capsized on Saturday morning.

The iconic statue on Kings Quay was erected four years ago. But it took a nine year battle to raise the £76,000 funds to turn the dream into reality. The bronze art work can be seen from the inner harbour and is placed so that returning vessels for centuries to come will sail home past it.

Candles, flowers and notes are left by the people of Brixham, Torbay at the Man and Boy statue as two fishermen from the area where onboard a vessel had sunk off the Sussex coast
Candles, flowers and notes are left by the people of Brixham, Torbay at the Man and Boy statue as two fishermen from the area where onboard a vessel had sunk off the Sussex coast . November 23, 2020. Picture: Matt Gilley/Devon Live.

The Rowe’s said: “Sadly Adam and Rob are the first fishermen to be lost to the sea from Brixham since the installation of the Man & Boy Statue.

“We would like to know people’s feelings about having a plaque installed to remember the FV Joanna C BM265 and Adam & Rob who were lost with her.”

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They added that the idea was suggested “with the greatest respect to the families at this time.” It was greeted by dozens of messages in unanimous support.

Robert Morley’s mother Jackie Woolford said: “I think that is perfect.” Adam Harper’s mother, Sarah Jayne Harper agreed that it would be “a beautiful tribute to our darling boys”.

Jackie added: “I have never felt so much love for our boys.”

Fisherman Robert Morley next to a smashed window onboard of Golden Promise at the Brixham Harbour in Devon, which was smashed by a rock thrown by french fishermen. Robert was onboard at the time of the attack. 29/08/2018 See SWNS story SWSCALLOPS; French fishermen have been accused of throwing insults, rocks and smoke bombs at their British rivals in the English Channel in a vicious scrap over scallops. The clash happened around 12 nautical miles (22km) off the Normandy coast, near the Bay of Seine. British boats are legally entitled to fish in the scallop-rich area.
Fisherman Robert Morley is still missing after his fishing vessel sank off the coast of Newhaven, East Sussex

There have also been discussions about lighting a beacon on Berry Head as the community looks to find ways to pay its respects.

Steve Daniels agreed: “I feel the point of the Statue is to remember the Brixham Fishermen lost at sea. So it seems very right there should be a plaque, with their names.”

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Carol Austin was one of dozens of people who gave their unanimous backing to the idea: “I think all lives lost at sea from Brixham should have a name plaque put up on it thats what I thought it was there for. “

Brixham Scalloper Joanna C transformed after major refit in 2019

Andrea Louise said: “I think it’s a great idea. Brixham has always had a massive place in my heart. I’m from Yorkshire, I have been coming since I was a small child still come now yearly as my dads ashes are there so would be nice to be able to go and pay our respects silently at a plaque in the boys honour on our next visit.”

To donate to the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen which is supporting the families affected by the tragedy click here

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