BEN Goodyear was born underwater, and has loved being in the water ever since.

Now, his family believe the ten year old scuba diver could be one of the youngest to ever train in Essex.

Ben, of Castle Hedingham, took the academic part of his PADI Junior Open Water Diver qualification the day after he was allowed- his tenth birthday.

The De Vere Primary schoolboy followed in his mother and father’s footsteps, and was taught by the teacher who had trained them both.

Ben was praised by his teachers Bob and Gill Botwright as being the youngest they have trained since they formed Scuba Adventures, in Brentwood.

Mr Botwright, who trains pupils at Witham’s diving pool, said: “He is the youngest person we have trained in 18 years. We’ve trained other ten year olds but not that young. The academic sessions and what he had to do in the water are identical as for adults. For someone that young it’s pretty good going.”

His parents Jon and Andrea Goodyear from Queen Street said they were very proud of their only child’s progress.

** for full story, see tomorrow's Gazette