Fam­ily in shock over death of cher­ished son

Macclesfield Express - - WINTER WONDERLAND - STU­ART GREER

THE fam­ily of a stu­dent who died in a ma­rina tragedy have paid trib­ute to him.

James Webb, 21, of Tyther­ing­ton, went miss­ing while on a night out with friends on Satur­day in Ply­mouth, where he was stu­dent.

Emer­gency ser­vices were called to a har­bour in the town cen­tre in the early hours of Sun­day after re­ports of a body in the wa­ter.

James, who was in his last year study­ing civil en­gi­neer­ing at the univer­sity, was pulled from the wa­ter.

Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was then taken to hos­pi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead.

Po­lice are treat­ing his death as un­ex­plained but say it is not sus­pi­cious.

De­tec­tives are look­ing at CCTV footage cov­er­ing the ma­rina to work out what hap­pened.

In a mov­ing trib­ute his fam­ily – in­clud­ing mum Marie, dad Dun­can, brother John, 25, sis­ter Har­riet, 26, and step-dad Colin Fearns – said: “James was a beau­ti­ful per­son. He was friends with ev­ery­one.

“Even though we lived away from each other, John in Aus­tralia, me in London, James was con­stantly in con­tact with us and mum ev­ery day.

“He was very fam­ily ori- en­tated. There are no words to de­scribe what we are go­ing through.”

His brother John added: “We were all re­ally proud of the man he had be­come.”

James, of Lin­drick Close, Tyther­ing­ton, went to St Gre­gory’s Pri­mary School in Bolling­ton.

He stud­ied at All Hal­lows Catholic Col­lege un­til 2006 when he moved to St David’s Col­lege, an in­de­pen­dent board­ing school in Llan­dudno, Wales.

Har­riet said: “James strug­gled at school with dys­lexia so my mum took the brave decision to send him to St David’s to get that ex­tra help.

“It was the best decision they ever made. He grew as a per­son and ex­celled. He was in­cred­i­bly hard work­ing.”

The Revd Tim Hall, chap­lain at St David’s, de­scribed James as a ‘cher­ished’ mem­ber the school.

He said: “James was a quiet, gen­tle, but very de­ter­mined and com­mit­ted pupil, who be­came a highly re­spected leader.

“He was a de­light to spend time with, to teach and to share ex­pe­ri­ences with.

“He be­came Head of House in his fi­nal year and was highly re­spected by pupils and staff.”

At school James de­vel­oped a love of the out­doors.

He achieved his Gold Duke of Ed­in­burgh Award and trav­elled the world with the school’s out­door ac­tiv­i­ties club.

James had just dis­cov­ered he had won a place on the Masters civil en­gi­neer­ing course at the univer­sity.

Dr Mau­reen Pow­ers, Dean of Stu­dents at Ply­mouth Univer­sity, said: “James was a promis­ing stu­dent who was close to grad­u­at­ing from his MEng Civil En­gi­neer­ing course just next year, and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Michelle Gar­vey, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal at All Hal­lows Catholic Col­lege, said: “Teach­ers, support staff and pupils would like to pass on our deep­est con­do­lences to Mrs Webb, John, Har­riet and all of their fam­ily and friends. Our col­lege com­mu­nity are keep­ing you all in our thoughts and prayers.”

●● James (right) with his brother John, mum Marie Fearns and sis­ter Har­riet

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