Tributes Paid To Black Country Paramedic Who Died Days After Accepting New Job In Devon

Heartfelt tributes have been paid by family, friends and colleagues of a Black Country paramedic whose body was found a week after he was reported missing off the Devon coast.

Thomas Hodgson, aged 42, from Walsall, was also a keen yachtsman. He was last seen alive in a small dingy, heading towards his yacht in Brixham on September 9th.

A search was carried out following his disappearance and a fisherman alerted police to a body in the water off nearby Breakwater Beach on Saturday morning. Officers confirmed yesterday that it was the body of Mr Hodgson, who was a paramedic for West Midlands Ambulance Service, based in Willenhall.

Mr Hodgson's family today released a statement, thanking emergency services for their rescue efforts and paying tribute to the father-of-two. They revealed how the medic, who currently worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service, had accepted a job as a paramedic in Devon and had planned to move to the area. The family said:

"He was a passionate man who lived his life enjoying outdoor pursuits yet chose a profession where he was recognised in his ability to help and comfort others in their time of need. Tom will be greatly missed by us all and we would appreciate time to come to terms with what has happened and to grieve for our loss."

"We would like to sincerely thank the combined services of Devon and Cornwall; the coast guard the RNLI, police force, the search and rescue helicopter teams, and private individuals for their unceasing efforts in searching for Tom. We also thank the West Midlands Ambulance Service for their immediate support for our family."

On social media, ambulance service colleagues paid tribute to him. The service tweeted:

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman described what happened when the force was called by the fisherman. He said:

"As [the discovery of a body] was in the area the last sighting had taken place there was concern that it was Mr Hodgson. Detectives were called to the scene after the RNLI had lifted the male from the water.

"Enquiries took place throughout the day in order to establish the males identity. Unfortunately it is now believed the male is in fact Mr Thomas Hodgson."


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