Family’s tribute to ‘special’ son Ashley

Ashley West with his girlfriend Amy Heard
Ashley West with his girlfriend Amy Heard
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The family of a 26-year-old man who drowned close to North Shore have paid an emotional tribute to an “awesome son.”

Ashley West was pulled from the water near to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by the RNLI around 9pm on Saturday, but sadly died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Mr West had attempted to swim off Blackpool’s coastline, but it is believed a large wave dragged him out to sea.

His family, who live in Staffordshire, paid tribute to a “special person” who touched a number of people’s lives.

Mr West’s mum, Lynn 56, of Porthill, said: “Everyone loved Ashley to bits – his friends and all the family.

“We all just feel lucky to have had such a special person in our lives.”

Dad Paul West, 57, a landscape gardener, told The Stoke Sentinel: “Ashley always makes me think of Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd as he was our gem.

“I look back on the time myself, Ashley and his two brothers went to Scotland where we camped out and went fishing. I feel privileged to have had that time with him.

“He was dedicated to everything he did and so hard working. I loved every hair on his head, I idolised him. My message to any parent is to tell your children you love them as you never know what may happen.”

Lynn added: “He was a great person who had grown into a great young man. He was awesome.”

Mr West, a talented sportsman, had met his partner Amy Heard about 12 months ago when he was on a stag-do and she was on a hen-do.

Their relationship blossomed and he moved to Blackpool earlier this year to live with her.

They had enjoyed a day with friends on Saturday before Ashley went out to the shop. It was then he went for a swim. Amy said: “He loved living close to the sea and we would sit and watch the sunset together.

“On Saturday night he told my sister’s boyfriend he was off for a swim when they had been to the shop. When he was in the sea he was smiling and didn’t know the danger he was in. A wave came and took him. It was a tragic accident.

“I always remember the night we met, our eyes just met. And that was it, we didn’t stop texting. He would always call me his princess and he was my prince.”