Children honour sailor dad's last wish by throwing prosthetic leg into the sea

A family fulfilled a sailor’s dying wish by throwing his prosthetic leg into the sea but instead of going to Ibiza it ended up 30 miles away in Weston-super-Mare

Michael Harris, who died in December aged 66, spent 20 years in the merchant navy.

He loved travelling and his last request – half-jokingly – was that his children take his prosthetic leg and send it out to sea.

His daughter Natalie Denning, 41, and sons Ricci Harris, 35, and Daniel Harris, 43, cast the leg away from Michael’s hometown of Lydney, Gloucestershire, on January 19.

But they had hoped it would end up somewhere a bit further afield, like Ibiza, instead of washing up on a beach near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

Natalie, from Lydney, who attached a note to the leg, said: ‘I didn’t think we’d hear anything about it so soon but when my brother messaged saying it had been found, I was shocked.

‘One lady who stumbled across it in Weston is a marine biologist and she said it could take a month before it gets out to sea beyond the estuary as the tide keeps dragging it back in.

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‘It still seems to be around Weston at the moment so we’re hoping it can be pushed a bit further out to get it into the sea.

‘It’s been so lovely and I hope to god it keeps going as it’s made people smile.’

Michael had his leg amputated in 2017 after a circulation problem developed, and subsequently had a prosthetic limb fitted.

Natalie said his request might have been meant as a joke – but the children are taking it seriously.

She added: ‘Daniel had taken dad for radiotherapy and as they were driving home he said he’d always wanted to go travelling again and so rather comically asked if we could send his leg round the world.

‘We nearly didn’t do it but we thought, ‘This is going to be funny’. It’s kept him alive for us as well – we just hope it gets further than Weston!’

The family are hoping the leg ends up somewhere exotic, with Natalie’s personal preference the Spanish island of Ibiza.

She said: ‘We’ve also said wherever it ends up we’ll definitely go out to visit as that’ll be hilarious.’

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