Tributes after death of colonel in County Durham canoe tragedy

Tributes have been paid to a highly-regarded army colonel and family man who died following a canoe accident at the weekend

Colonel Andrew Pullan who died in a canoe accident on the River Tees
Colonel Andrew Pullan who died in a canoe accident on the River Tees
 

Tributes have been paid to a highly-regarded army colonel and family man who died following a canoe accident at the weekend.

Colonel Andrew Pullan, 47, commanded the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment between 2006 and 2008 and is remembered as a “brave warrior” and “a great guy to work with”.

Tragedy struck on Saturday shortly after 2pm when the soldier’s canoe capsized at Baldergill, near his home town of Barnard Castle, in County Durham.

The 47-year-old was dragged under water in the Whorlton Lido area of the River Tees.

He was pulled out by his brother-in-law, who had been with him that morning, but the father-of-two had sustained serious injuries. He was given first aid at the scene by members of the public and fellow canoeists, then shortly afterwards by a police officer who rushed to the scene when the alarm was raised.

Paramedics then took over and Colonel Pullan was flown by air ambulance to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Sadly, his injuries proved to be fatal and he was pronounced dead there at 7.30am on Sunday.

Colonel Pullan, who had recently retired from the army, leaves behind a wife, Mel, and his two children Ben and Hanna.

Tributes began to flood in yesterday on social networking websites Facebook and Twitter.

Stewart Scott said: “RIP, sir. Deepest sympathies and thoughts go to his family, friends and comrades. A tragic loss.”

Lisa Colver wrote: “Such sad news. Our hearts are with Mel, Ben and Hanna at this terrible time.”

Julie Kerry said: “So sad on behalf of the ladies of The Yorkshire Roses. We send our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. RIP.”

Police said yesterday that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Colonel’s Pullan’s death.

When officers have completed inquiries, a file will be passed to the coroner for Cleveland who is expected to open an inquest in due course.

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