A LISBURN woman and her two young sons will today (Friday) say goodbye to a `wonderful husband and father' who died following a New Year's Eve boating tragedy in the Gulf of Iran.
Brian James Collins (44), who was struck by a speedboat while swimming off the island of Kish, will be laid to rest following a funeral service at Railway Street Presbyterian Church at 2.00pm.
This week, as she awaited the return of her husband's body, his widow Lorna told the Star there just were not enough words to adequately pay tribute to her spouse of 14 years.
She said her elder son Ethan (8) had been 'devastated' by news of his father's death although his little brother Archie (4) did not as yet fully understand what had happened.
Mrs. Collins recalled how she had last seen her husband on December 27 when he returned to his job as a drilling co-ordinator in the Gulf after a 'very happy' family Christmas.
"I then went to Manchester to stay with a very good friend," she continued. "I had just arrived when shortly after lunch my father phoned me to tell me the news.
"Apparently someone came out to the house to tell me what had happened but of course there was no one here so they went to the police station.
"The police managed to get in contact with Brian's father Jim and he immediately phoned my parents." Mrs. Collins said her husband's death seemed to be a 'tragic accident' ".
She explained he had been swimming with an Australian colleague Karl Keffinger who noticed the boat being driven by two boys.
He shouted a warning and dived out of the way but the Lisburn man was struck by the vessel. He died shortly after being rushed to shore.
Mr. Collins, who previously worked in Canada and Scotland, alternated five week periods of work in the Gulf with five week periods at home with his family.
His father, well known Lisburn businessman Mr. Jim Collins, said his son was a strong swimmer who had recently taken a scuba diving course.
At the time of his death, he added, he had been undertaking his daily swim from the shore to a buoy and back.
He too spoke of the entire family's devastation at the loss of Mr. Collins.
"He was travelling backwards and forwards very frequently and to be honest that was something we worried about but this was totally unexpected," he said.
"I just can't describe how I felt at first after hearing the news."
Mr. Collins was a former pupil of Brownlee Primary, Wallace High, Coleraine Inst., and Friends.
He obtained a BSc Degree in Civil Engineering at Queens University and went on to attend the world famous 'Robert Gordon Institute' in Aberdeen.
Brian's Family Would Like To Collect Stories, Memories And Anecdotes About Him For A Family Memorial Album. They Would Respectfully Ask That If Any Of His Friends Were Moved To Contribute, They Should Send Them To:
Darryl Collins 85 Grove Road,