A TEENAGER has died after falling into Weymouth Harbour.

A crewmember from Weymouth RNLI lifeboat dived into the water in the early hours of this morning and pulled the 18-year-old from he water but he later died in hospital.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said the death is not being treated as suspicious but officers are investigating why the youngster was in the water.

A life buoy from the harbourside was discovered in the marina by emergency services when they arrived at the scene, but it is not known how it got there.

Volunteer spokesman for Weymouth RNLI Ken Francis said: “The lifeboat arrived on scene within two minutes of launching.

“The casualty could not be reached with the inshore lifeboat because of the location between the marina pontoons and Westham Bridge, so the lifeboat was positioned on the marina pontoon as close to the reported position as possible.”

He added: “The casualty could not be seen so a member of the crew entered the water and swam the five metres to the casualty's last known position.”

Nick Newman was the helmsman in charge of the team of four who were called to the rescue at around 2.30am.

He said: “It was quite an awkward position, right under the pedestrian footbridge, but our crew member managed to get the casualty back on the boat where he was handed straight over to the care of paramedics.

“From the initial call to the person being in the ambulance, the operation took just 14 minutes.”

He added: “The team is kitted out with dry suits in situations like this so although he was in the water it is not so cold as if you were wearing normal clothes.

“All our training really comes into its own in situations like this.”

South West Ambulance Service sent a rapid response vehicle and a full ambulance crew to the scene following the call at 2.25am.

A Dorset Police spokesman said: “At 2.41am on Thursday, January 9, officers were called to an incident in which an 18-year-old Weymouth man was in the water at the marina in Weymouth.

“Dorset Police officers, the ambulance service and HM Coastguard attended and the man was removed from the water and taken to Dorset County Hospital.

“Sadly he later died.”

The spokesman added that the teenager's next of kin and the coroner have been informed.

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Councillor Ray Banham said he was 'shocked and saddened' to hear the news.

He said: “It's obvious the lifeboat crew and other emergency services got there very quickly and put their own lives at risk to try and rescue this young man.

“Unfortunately their efforts seem to have been in vain and my thoughts are with this young man's friends and family.”

Dorset Police are asking anyone with information, especially on how the life buoy got into the water, to call them on 101.

Please leave your tributes below.