Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Family tribute for lost fisherman

Chris Wadsworth
Chris Wadsworth's family called him thoughtful and caring

A Devon fisherman who has been missing since a collision at sea "lived life to the max", his family have said.

Bristol-born Chris Wadsworth, 21, was lost when the Teignmouth-based crabber Etoile Des Ondes was struck by another vessel 18 miles (30km) off Cherbourg.

Three crewmen climbed into a life raft but Mr Wadsworth, from Teignmouth, was not seen by his crewmates.

A huge search after the incident on 20 December was eventually called off and he is presumed dead.

The whole family are in a total state of disbelief as is everyone who knew Chris
Samantha Wadsworth

His sister Samantha said in a tribute that her brother had a "wonderful passion for life".

She said: "Chris had a heart condition from birth and underwent a serious operation in his teenage years, but never moaned about his condition and didn't let it hold him back.

"His motto was to 'live life to the max' and if he died in the process, as least he would die happy.

"Knowing he has been taken from us doing what he loved, is a small comfort for us.

 Etoile Des Ondes
The collision which sank the Etoile Des Ondes is being investigated

"The whole family are in a total state of disbelief as is everyone who knew Chris."

She described her brother as a "confident, friendly, good looking and fearless young man with the rest of his life ahead of him".

She said: "As a brother he was thoughtful and caring, often showing a more sensitive side to those he was close to.

"For me, the thing that hurts the most is I will never feel his big strong arms hug me again and tell me everything is going to be okay."

Mr Wadsworth was born in Bristol and spent the majority of his childhood in Winterbourne, attending St Michael's Primary School and later Filton High School.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the circumstances of the sinking were being investigated.

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Fisherman missing after collision
21 Dec 09 |  Devon

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