Underwater search for lecturer called off

An underwater search for a former university lecturer feared dead after a boat carrying six passengers capsized was called off today.





Three women and one man, described as being in their 50s and 60s, were rescued and taken to hospital with minor injuries after the incident in the River Thames, near Shepperton, Surrey, on Sunday evening.



The body of Keith Lowde, 66, was found in the river by police divers on Monday, close to where the boat overturned.



The body of his friend, former Cambridge University lecturer Rex Walford, has yet to be found.



A spokesman for Surrey Police said a thorough and extensive search by its specialist dive teams over the past two days had been unable to locate the missing man.



The decision to stand the underwater search down was based on a number of factors including visibility and currents in the water, along with the substantial area of water involved in the search operation, he said.



Instead crews from Surrey Fire and Rescue Service will continue to search the water's surface.



Yesterday, Mr Lowde's family released a statement in which they spoke of their devastation at his loss.



It said: "He was a wonderful husband, and a truly amazing father. This tragic accident has left a massive hole in all our lives.



"The response from all our friends, Keith's work colleagues, and his students has been immense and we thank them all for their support and help.



"It is clear that over his life Keith has helped so many people in such a positive way. He will be sadly missed but never forgotten."



Mr Lowde is believed to have been taking his wife and two other couples a short distance from his home on Pharaoh's island in the River Thames to the bank at Shepperton.



He is listed on the website of the Guildford-based Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) as a music business tutor with more than 20 years' experience in the music industry at a senior level.



His work also included directing a national music festival for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.



A 21-year-old student, who did not wish to be named, was taught by Mr Lowde at ACM. Paying tribute yesterday, he said: "He was an amazing guy. He was a big character on the course.



"I was supposed to have his course today. We were told what happened. It was a big shock. I only saw him a few days ago.



"He's the sort of guy who takes control of things. He was a well-adjusted family man. A 100% champion.



"It couldn't have happened to a less deserving guy."









Dr Walford was formerly a lecturer in geography and education and head of the University of Cambridge Department of Education.



He lectured extensively for the University's Institute of Continuing Education and teaches and examines for several other courses.



A colleague of his described the academic as "warm" and "talented".



Colin Dolley, 71, who co-wrote a book on one act plays with him four years ago, said: "The most important thing is that he was enthusiastic about everything he did."



Speaking yesterday, Surrey Police's Inspector Adam Smith said: "Early indications are that the boat left from the far side of the island and rounded the head of the island on its way to the public side of the island.



"At some point whilst rounding the head of the island the boat capsized. The full reasons for that are under investigation.



"The currents aren't particularly strong but there are a number of eddies and whirlpools so it's not necessarily as straightforward as it looks."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment