Burton Bradstock vicar 'died in rowing boat accident'

Seatown, Dorset Image copyright Richard Slessor
Image caption The body was found on the beach in the Seatown area of Dorset

A Dorset vicar found dead on a beach is thought to have died in a rowing accident.

The body of the Reverend Bob Thorn, 59, was found at Seatown on Monday morning after his unoccupied boat washed ashore and a major search was launched.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said he was "devastated" to learn of the Burton Bradstock vicar's fatal accident.

Mr Thorn was rector of the Bride Valley Benefice, which covers eight churches.

He was the vicar for the parish of Feock in Cornwall for five years before moving to the midlands in the late 1980s.

He is reported to have been rowing back from Portscatho where he was born to Dorset.

Bishop Holtam said: "Bob was a remarkable man of incredible determination.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jean, who is also a priest and with whom he shared much of his ministry, and with his children.

"Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course."

Monday's search involved Dorset and Devon coastguards and lifeboats.

Dorset Police said it was now conducting inquiries on behalf of the coroner.

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