Tributes paid to 94-year-old Jim Allen after tragic drowning

Tributes have been paid to Jim Allen who died in a "tragic drowning incident" on Saturday.

The 94-year-old, from Belfast, was one of two men pulled from the water after their boat capsized off the coast of Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

Jim was a member of East Belfast Yacht Club for more than three decades.

Brian Larmour of the yacht club said: "Everybody about the place would know him, he was a bit of a character. He will certainly be missed."

Police said Mr Allen and a man in his 70s were on board the boat which had launched from a yacht club off Sydenham Road in east Belfast at around 1.30pm-2pm.

At around 3pm, a mayday call was received that the boat was starting to take in water.

Emergency services were called to the scene.

PSNI Detective Inspective Stephanie Finlay said: "Both men entered the water when the boat capsized around one and-a-half miles from Carrickfergus near Greenisland.

"Sadly, and despite the best efforts of emergency crews, the man in his 90s died."

She said police are treating it as a "tragic drowning incident".

The man in his 70s was treated by ambulance crews at the scene.

A police investigation is under way with the assistance of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Brian added: "Nobody's really sure exactly what happened.

"All we have been told up to now is Billy was in the cockpit of the boat, he noticed water around his feet and turned around and looked at the back of the boat and water was pouring over the back of it. And that's as much as we've been told up to now."

Yesterday afternoon, friends at the yacht club shared stories about Jimmy, saying he always told them that when he died he wanted his ashes spread in the water, the place he loved the most.

Detectives are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to call 101.

They are especially keen to talk to anyone who noticed the boat, described as white and measuring 18 feet, leaving the yacht club in east Belfast or saw it while it was out on the water.