Retired teacher drowns after his yacht capsizes

County Cork

County Cork

First published in News

A retired Bloxham School teacher described by a former pupil as a “gentle giant” drowned after his yacht capsized off the coast of Ireland on Wednesday night.

Douglas Perrin, 66, who moved to County Cork with his wife Judith, 60, after retiring three years ago, was sailing with two friends when strong winds hit their boat.

Former pupil Roddy Sweetingham, who was taught A-Level Politics by Mr Perrin at Bloxham, near Banbury, said he would be sorely missed.

The 23-year-old operations director, who now lives in London, said: “He was absolutely fantastic, an absolute gentle giant with a very dry sense of humour that you didn’t always see coming.

“He got people through A-Level Politics who you wouldn’t have expected to pass and we had strawberries and cream at his house at the end of every term.

“He was a wonderful teacher, top marks for him.”

Mrs Perrin, who taught English at Headington School, was not in the yacht at the time.

It is believed their two friends who were in the boat with Mr Perrin, off the coast of County Cork at Roaring Water Bay, managed to swim to safety on a small island, before they were picked up by coastguards and taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.

Shortly after retiring, Mr Perrin volunteered to teach English in the deprived town of Jambiani, Zanzibar, with charity Zanzibar Action Project.

Co-founder Janie Preece said: “He was an extremely good teacher, everybody who met him liked him.”

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