By Sam Hawcroft
Tributes have been pouring in from across Withernsea and the nationwide lifeboat community after the death of Withernsea RNLI operations manager Steve Medcalf.
Steve, 52, died three weeks after a fire, caused by an electrical fault, tore through the kitchen and conservatory of his home in North Road, Withernsea. Both of his dogs died as they slept in their beds.
Steve, who ran his own local building firm, was rescued by firefighters and taken to the intensive care unit at Hull Royal Infirmary on November 20. Despite briefly emerging from his coma in recent days, his condition worsened and he died early on Monday morning, surrounded by his family.
After Withernsea RNLI made Steve’s picture its profile image on Facebook, hundreds of people paid tribute, including neighbouring Hornsea Inshore Rescue and RNLI Humber, and lifeboat stations from as far afield as Aberdeen and Tynemouth.
Steve was described as a “true gentleman”, “a genuine, caring man with a heart of gold” and “a pillar of the community in many ways”.
His family said they had been “overwhelmed by the support of the local community, but we are not surprised as he was such a well-loved character”.
Withernsea RNLI crew past and present will be holding a one-minute applause at the lifeboat station at 10am this Sunday, where members of the public who knew Steve are also welcome to attend.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed, but the RNLI is expected to feature heavily in the ceremony. Withernsea RNLI is also planning a lasting memorial to Steve, details of which will be released in due course.
Anyone who has any photos, videos or memories of Steve that they would like to share is asked to email them to [email protected] for potential inclusion in a presentation at the funeral service, so the family can create something lasting for them and the community.