Relatives today paid tribute to a British national who was killed in a terrorist car bomb attack in the Yemen.
Tragic shipping consultant David Mockett, 65, died instantly when a bomb planted under the driver’s seat of his sports utility vehicle blew up as he drove through the southern port city of Aden.
Mr Mockett, of Plymouth, Devon, had worked in the Middle East for the last 34 years, where he worked as surveyor for Arabian Marine Surveyors Ltd.
He had been based in the city of Aden for the last decade, a city which has seen a recent increase in violence.
Mr Mockett’s wife Cynthia, 66, joined their two daughter’s Sarah and Rachael yesterday in paying tribute to a man they described as ”a patient listener” and ”gentle giant”.
Cynthia, of Plymouth, revealed he had nipped out of the office to buy a sandwich on his lunchbreak when the devastating blast tore through his vehicle.
The family statement read: ”We understand from the Foreign Office that David was killed by a car bomb as he left his workplace for lunch.
”David worked as a shipping consultant and had worked in this capacity in the Middle East for 34 years, with the last 10 years being based in Aden and Hodiadah.
”David was a huge part of our lives and will leave a vast hole. He always made time for people as he believed that your time was the greatest gift that you give to another person.
”He was a patient listener; he and Cynthia shared a love that most of us can only hope for sharing 44 years of marriage.”
It added: ”Locals in Aden described David as a Gentle Giant, the Man of Peace, and he was well known throughout the port of Aden.
”David decided to stay on past retirement in Yemen as the skills he acquired through the years as a master mariner were key to the shipping industry, but more so as he enjoyed going to work.
”He will be greatly missed by his friends in both the UK and Yemen.”
Speaking after the blast on Wednesday, a devastated Cynthia said: ”’My husband went up in flames. I just wish I had something to bury – but I don’t think I will.”
The southern part of the country has been thrown into turmoil recently with officials blaming a rise in violence on Al Qaeda-linked militants they say are taking advantage of the country’s political turmoil.
In April 2010 the British ambassador to Yemen narrowly escaped being killed when a car bomb hit his convoy in Sana’a.
And last October a rocket-propelled grenade hit an embassy car in Sana’a, wounding three people, including a diplomat