TRIBUTE has been paid to a popular former St Dogmaels resident who has died following an incident in Cornwall.

Paul Welch was killed when a massive oak tree crashed down a steep embankment at Sailor’s Creek in the Fal estuary and onto a houseboat below in which Paul was staying on Saturday evening (January 2) at around 5pm.

Paul was locally known as the owner/skipper of the Lowestoft beam sailing trawler, Keewaydin, built in 1913, which, for about eight years, became a 'celebrity' resident of St Dogmaels, moored up on the Teifi.

He lived in St Dogmaels during the late 90s and until 2007, when he moved the boat down to Falmouth.

One local resident said: “He was well liked in St Dogmaels and beyond, a philanthropic man who generously gave land to the community in St Dogmaels to start the allotments that are now well established opposite Glebelands market garden.

“Many local people crewed on his wonderful 90ft wooden sailing boat and undertook journeys up to the west of Scotland and down to Brittany visiting islands big and small throughout the Celtic Irish Sea.

“Many people knew Paul, and they will be very saddened to receive such untimely and tragic news.”

Paul, who is understood to have been in his 50s, was married to Harriet, with whom he had a daughter. From a previous marriage he had a son.

Brett Jackson wrote on Facebook: "Paul was an amazing, gentle man and a loving father who will be badly missed by our community."

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “At this time the death is not being treated as suspicious, but as an accidental death. We are carrying out enquiries and in due course a file will be prepared for the coroner.”