Colleagues mourn brave lifeboatman
Mr Wood, who died aged 80 after an accident at his home in Norfolk, served with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Bridlington for more than 45 years and won a series of bravery awards before his retirement in 1999.
His energy and zest for life was reflected in the fact that he once held more than 10 jobs, and his funeral service at The Priory yesterday was attended by many former colleagues.
A time-served joiner and cabinet maker, Mr Wood was also a retained firefighter, and had been a builder, undertaker, and boat builder, even finding time to run a small holding where he kept pigs and sheep.
What spare time he did have was spent indulging his lifelong passion for sailing.
His standing in the lifesaving community was such that the town’s fire brigade despatched a fire engine to his funeral, and representatives of lifeboat crews from along the Yorkshire coast also filed into church.
They included Brian Bevan, Fred Walkington and Les Robson, respectively the former coxswains of the Humber, Bridlington and Flamborough lifeboats, who all hold MBEs.
Mr Wood served under three coxswains and was involved in many notable rescues.
In 1967, after rescuing two boys who had fallen down the cliffs at Flamborough, he was awarded the RNLI’s Vellum certificate – the first awarded for an inshore boat rescue.
Almost a year later he was one of the crew when Coxswain John King was awarded the bronze medal after the offshore lifeboat stood by the fishing vessel Maria F in a south easterly gale.
In 1985 Mr Wood and his son Nick received bravery awards as crew members for the rescue of two adults and two children from the yacht Sula Sula.
Andy Brompton, deputy launching authority at Bridlington, who served with Mr Wood for 25 years, said: “He was a man of many talents, a very warm-hearted man and one of life’s great characters. It was a big turn out and started to rain, but nobody minded getting a bit wet for Harry. He will be fondly remembered by many people.”