BOOKS of condolence have been opened and a candlelit vigil held in memory of a popular teenager who died suddenly.

Rory Wai, 18, died at home in Wivenhoe last week.

The teenager was working as a part-time lifeguard at Brightlingsea Lido and Valley Farm Caravan Park, Clacton, for the summer while waiting for his A Level results after studying at Colchester Sixth Form College.

The lido and St James Church in Brightlingsea have both opened books of condolence for Rory to give people the chance to record their memories of him.

The church held a vigil where people could light a candle in his memory last night and will again be open for people to visit today.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • Candles lit at the St James' Church in Brightlingsea

Rory’s mum Sally Anderson-Wai said the family had been inundated with kind messages following Rory’s death.

She said the books of condolence were “helping us come to terms with it”.

“It is lovely and we are really touched,” she said.

“There were about 50 friends and family there at the church.

“People lit a candle for him and wrote a message on a tree.

“It was a great comfort to me and my family and it was overwhelming to see how much he was loved by other people who had high regard for him.

“I spoke to the manager at Valley Farm caravan park and he said what a wonderful lad he was and how everyone is really upset about it.

“It is really helping us come to terms with it.

“He was a very popular lad - he knows a lot of people in Brightlingsea area.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

  • People attend a vigil for Rory

Rory had studied A Levels at the sixth form college and had been given conditional offers to study at five universities.

He had recently paid for his own lifesaving course and bought himself a secondhand motorbike to get to work.

The former Colne Community School student enjoyed working out at the gym and had been a member of Colchester Rugby Club.

A post on Facebook Brightlingsea Lido said: “Rory will be very much missed by all for his friendly, happy personality and diligence in carrying out his lifeguard work here at the lido.

“Our greatest sympathies go out to his family and all who knew him.”

Rory was found unconscious in his bed at his home in Wivenhoe at about 8.30pm last Tuesday by his elder brother, William.

William couldn’t wake him and he did CPR on Rory until the paramedics arrived.

Despite their best efforts, Rory could not be resuscitated.

An inquest into this death will be held at a later date.