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One man and his boat

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IN a moving tribute to Occupation hero Denis Vibert, his tiny boat Ragamuffin was brought to the Town Church yesterday and placed beside the pulpit.

Its only decoration was flowers from his wife.

Denis Vibert died on 25 September at the age of 85, and his friends and family in Jersey gathered to recall the man and boy they knew in a memorial service that echoed the funeral service at his home in Maine on 2 October.

At the age of 22, Denis Vibert escaped from German-occupied Jersey and rowed across the English Channel to freedom in his 8 ft craft, the only Island escapee to make it alone across the Channel.

'It is apt that Den's boat Ragamuffin is here today in the church to symbolise not only those epic three days alone in the Channel but the journey on which he has embarked,' said the Dean of Jersey, the Very Rev John Seaford, who led the memorial service and spoke the opening words, a quote from Ambrose Redman: 'Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.'

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