A KIDDERMINSTER teenager has died after falling into Weymouth Harbour.

Christopher Vaughan, 18, who has been named locally, is understood to have moved to Dorset after leaving King Charles I School sixth form last summer, was pulled out of the water at about 2.30am yesterday morning but later died at Dorset County Hospital.

Stuart Arch, assistant headteacher and director of sixth form studies at King Charles, 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 teachers at King Charles remember him as a talented mathematician, showing flair and an intuition for solving problems.

"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."

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.”

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.

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."

The coroner has been informed of the death.

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