Tributes paid to Barry man who died in South Africa boating tragedy
TRIBUTES have been paid to a Barry man who died when a tourist catamaran capsized during a seal-watching trip in Cape Town, South Africa.
64-year-old granddad Peter Hyett died after the charter boat Miroshga - carrying 39 people - capsized near Duiker Island, around 3km from Hout Bay on Saturday (October 13).
The retired Vale Council training officer, who was originally from Bournemouth, had been on board with wife Suzanne, 63, and her daughter Helen, 37, when the incident happened at around 2.15pm South African time.
The family were due to return home from their holiday the following day.
South African tour guide John Roberts also died during the incident, which saw volunteer crews from South Africa's National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) conducting a major rescue effort.
Two other British tourists were trapped in the hull of the upturned vessel for almost fours hours.
NRSI's Craig Lambinon said rescuers carried out CPR on Mr Hyett, but despite their efforts and those of shore-based medical staff, they were unable to save him.
It is believed the boat hit an object in the water, causing it to overturn.
Police in South Africa have opened an inquest docket and Vale MP, Alun Cairns - extending his condolences to Peter's family - said he was in contact with the Foreign Office to ensure the family were supported.
"From communication with Mrs Hyett, I know that she and her daughter are hoping to return home to the UK as soon as all essential actions are in order," said Mr Cairns.
"I will be doing all I can to ensure that their journey home is as smooth and stress-free as possible, and will provide any assistance possible for them once they arrive back in Barry.
"I will also work with the authorities to make sure that the cause of the accident is investigated thoroughly."
Mr Hyett worked at the Vale Council for six years as a training officer before retiring in 2008, and former colleagues this week paid tribute.
Vale Council training and development manager, human resources service, Allan Williams said: "As a senior training officer, he was a very well-respected member of staff who could be relied upon to deliver well-researched and informative training courses, made more relevant by his vast experience in the human resources field.
"This professional aspect to his work was always complemented by his kindness, patience and good humour.
"He was always courteous and generous in his support to colleagues who sought him out to give trusted sound advice on a whole range of personnel issues.
"Pete studied psychology at university and his insight into human nature was always matched by his generous spirit," he added.
"Even after he retired he was still asked to deliver workshops for the council, a true testimony to his ability and the respect in which his colleagues held him.
"All the many colleagues at the council who knew him were shocked and saddened by his unexpected and sudden death. Our sympathy goes out to his wife and family. He was a decent gentleman."
Neighbour Beryl Germon said the family had returned to Barry because Suzanne was originally from the town.
"They are lovely people, nice neighbours and they loved their garden," she said, adding that the couple opened up the garden once a year for charity.
Beryl, extending her sympathies, added: "I just can't believe they went on a lovely holiday to South Africa and now he's not coming home."