TRIBUTES have been paid after a man died in a speedboat accident.

Police and ambulance services were called to Stone Sailing Club in St Lawrence on Friday night after two boats collided.

A spokesman for the police said: “We were called at around 9pm on Friday to reports a speed boat towing a water ski was in collision with a moored sailing boat.

“A man on the speed boat was injured and, sadly, died at the scene.

“The incident has been referred to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. A file is being prepared for the coroner.”

The man named only as Paul, was a member of the Stone Watersports Club in the village.

The other man on the boat, who was in his fifties, was taken to Broomfield Hospital.

Paul was described as “popular and much loved” in the village.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We were lucky to have a trained paramedic who happened to be on the sea wall who was able to run to help the men.

“The services were amazing for their very prompt arrival on the scene, the first paramedic was here within ten minutes.”

The watersports club posted a tribute to Paul on their Facebook page on Sunday.

It said: “It’s not often in life you meet someone with a drive and enthusiasm that rubs off on everyone he knows, to those of us who knew him and were aware of how he traversed the road of life, he enriched the lives of many who will have a bank of memories that will live forever and will not be lost in the mists of time.

“He was like a big engine of life which did not stop pulsating and going at a million miles an hour, always smiling always joking around or playing pranks with his cheeky grin and never happier than when he was out on the water with family or friends, never too busy to help any one that needed a hand, he truly touched everyone that knew him because of his enthusiasm for the sport he loved and the person he was.

“RIP Paul; you will be sorely missed but never forgotten, sending love and thoughts to the family.”

A Marine Accident Investigation Branch spokesman said: “The MAIB is aware of the incident and has liaised with Essex police to determine the circumstances.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident 1495 of 06/08.