TRIBUTES have been paid to a ‘popular and talented’ teenager who died after falling into Weymouth Harbour.
Flowers have been left at the scene near Westham Bridge to the youngster, named locally as Christopher Vaughan.
One heartfelt message left on the railings close to where he was recovered from the water reads: “In loving memory of my son, Christopher, who died here aged 18 years. You will never be forgotten and always much loved.”
Another said: “We love you so very, very much, we will always miss you, we will never, ever forget you. You’re always in our hearts.”
Christopher, who was also known as Alan, went to school in Kidderminster and is believed to have been living in the Weymouth area.
Stuart Arch, assistant head teacher and director of sixth form studies at King Charles I School where Christopher was a pupil until last summer, remembered a 'popular and talented' young man.
He said: “Chris was a very able and intelligent young man who was a year younger than his colleagues yet matched them academically in every way.
“He enjoyed science subjects and played an active role in the school’s science club for gifted and talented students for a number of years.
“Senior colleagues and his teachers at King Charles remember him as a talented mathematician, showing flair and an intuition for solving problems.”
Mr Arch added: “Chris was popular with his peers, having a ready wit and sense of humour.
“This is a tragic loss and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”
Emergency services rushed to the scene at Weymouth Marina in the early hours of Thursday morning after reports that a man had fallen into the water.
A crew member from the Weymouth RNLI lifeboat dived into the water where Christopher had last been spotted and pulled him onto the boat where he was handed over to the care of paramedics.
He was taken by ambulance to Dorset County Hospital where he later died.
Dorset Police are not treating the death as suspicious but officers are trying to find out how the youngster came to be in the marina.
They are also keen to talk to the person who deployed a life buoy at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to call 101.