Tributes paid to sea captain

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 September 2012

John Winn

John Winn

Julian Winn

TRIBUTES have been paid to a well-known sea captain who died earlier this month.

John Winn travelled to every country in the world with a sea port in his 42-year career on the seas and was even in command of what was at one point the world’s largest ship.

Born in Albert Avenue in Weston in 1928, he was educated at Westgate and Lewisham schools in the resort, and had recollections of watching the bombing of the town by the Luftwaffe during World War Two. He joined the Blue Funnel Line of Liverpool in 1945 as an officer cadet, before working his way up the ranks until he was promoted to captain in 1962.

Son Julian said: “He regularly regaled us with stories of his travels, such as an exhausted albatross falling from the sky and landing on the deck, a vessel coming to an abrupt halt when it ran into a whale, taking command when at the rank of chief officer when the captain passed away during the voyage, experiencing a serious engine room fire on his final voyage and many, many more.”

Towards the end of his time on the seas, he was also put in command of the 220,000-ton ship Tantalus, then the world’s largest ship, for its maiden voyage.

Captain Winn lived in Weston all his life, and married Connie Aplin in 1955 at the Emmanuel Church – she was able to join him on some of his journeys around the globe.

In 2004 he was diagnosed with inoperable throat and tongue cancer, which he survived and made a full recovery from.

His wife died in April this year, and Captain Winn died on September 11 at Weston General Hospital, aged 84.

He is survived by his three children, Amanda, Julian and Nick, and seven grandchildren. A private funeral service will be held tomorrow (Thurs) and this will be followed by a celebration at Emmanuel Church in Oxford Street at 12.30pm. His ashes will then be scattered in Beer, Devon.

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