Lionel and his partner Betty. His funeral will be held tomorrow.
Lionel and his partner Betty. His funeral will be held tomorrow. Janine Watson

Family touched by generous contributions to funeral fund

THE funeral for a fisherman who drowned while out catching lobsters for his son's birthday will be held on Thursday.

Lionel Innes drowned after his boat capsized at Sapphire Beach on November 9. The 80-year-old got into difficulty at around 11.15am just 200m off shore at Campbells Beach on Oceanfront Drive.

Following his death Lionel's family made the reluctant decision to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help cover funeral costs.

Neither Lionel or partner Betty had a superannuation nest egg and were living week to week on their aged pensions.

Betty had been considering selling her car or mortgaging their home to meet the costs they estimated to be over $10,000.

In just over a week the GoFundMe page raised $6,270 and the family have issued the following statement to all of those who contributed:

"We are forever grateful to everyone for their support and generosity in donating towards Lionel's funeral.

"With your kind donations the financial pressures of paying and arranging Lionel's funeral have been lifted and we are finally able to lay him to rest.

"We will always remember your help in our time of need and are very touched by your kind words and actions."

His funeral will be held on Thursday at 11.30am at the Hogbin Drive Chapel in Coffs Harbour.

Lionel lived in Coffs Harbour for 68 years and made a living as a timber cutter.