Tributes paid to Matt Dunnett from Ipswich after Alton Water tragedy

Matt Dunnett

Matt Dunnett - Credit: Archant

The mum of a 22-year-old man whose body was pulled from the water at Tattingstone has described him as a “shining star” and “one in the million”.

Matt Dunnett with niece, Amy.

Matt Dunnett with niece, Amy. - Credit: Archant

Matt Dunnett, of Woodhouse Square, Ipswich, was pronounced dead at Alton Water on Tuesday night after an hour-long search in the reservoir by emergency services near Lemons Hill bridge.

Fire fighters who attended the scene said friends and members of the public were searching in the water for Mr Dunnett when they arrived.

The former Westbourne High School student has been remembered as a talented music producer who held his friendships close to his heart.

Mr Dunnett’s sister, Zena Williams, 34, said: “He was the sweetest, kindest, most loving person I have ever met.

“He was always trying to put a smile on people’s faces. He was really cheeky and cocky, a proper Jack the lad.”

Growing up in the Whitton area of Ipswich, Mr Dunnett attended St Pancras Primary School and studied brick laying at Suffolk New College.

Mum Jeanette Mayes added: “He was my shining star, my one in the million.”

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Mr Dunnett also leaves behind dad Richard, 24-year-old brother Chris, half-sister, Claire and nine-year-old niece Amy.

“He loved his family, he absolutely adored his friends and he thought the world of his niece,” Ms Williams added.

“He viewed his friends as brothers and sisters, they were so important to him.”

Since his death, warm and heartfelt tributes have come flooding in from Mr Dunnett’s many friends.

Perry Walker labelled Mr Dunnett’s love and talent for mixing and producing drum and bass music as “immense”.

“He loved it, lived and breathed it and I am so heartbroken that someone like Matt can leave us all so soon,” he added.

“He will be loved, cherished and remembered with every breath and heartbeat anyone who met him has in their body.

“Life is short, and the pain seems infinite, but Matt will be missed every second of every hour I spend on this earth. That’s the best way to describe such a treasure in this world.”

It is the second tragic death that the friendship circle have gone through this year following the sudden loss of 23-year-old Matt Pope.

Conna Wiles said: “Matt Dunnett and Matt Pope were like brothers to me for many years, true best friends, we were a trio, unfortunately Matt Pope passed away three months ago and now Dunnett has been taken from us early too.

“He was truly one of the best and most musically talented people I’ve met. He has a large group of friends and we all loved him.”

Ben Green, who met Mr Dunnett at an Ipswich Town match when they were youngsters, described him as “one of a kind”.

He added: “Growing up you always hear the phrase ‘his smile lit up the room’ and Matt was the true meaning to this saying.”

Another friend, Asha Webb, said Mr Dunnett was like a brother to her, adding: “A huge hole has been punched in my heart since you left us, life will never be the same without you, you were one in a million.”

Richard Hawkes, assistant principal and head of Year 11 at then-named Westbourne Sports College in 2009 when Mr Dunnett left, said: “Matt was a bright young man who had an excellent sense of humour. He was cheerful and friendly and was well liked by his peers who used to call him “Tricky”. “He enjoyed music and was always talking about becoming the next global DJ.”

Mr Hawkes added the staff were “deeply saddened” to hear the news and said the tragedy highlighted the importance of educating young people on water safety.

Suffolk fire service received reports at 8pm on Tuesday that a man had gone under the water at Lemons Hill and could not be found.

A search was carried out by firefighters and water rescue teams from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk police, paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service, the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service air ambulance and the RAF Air Sea Rescue helicopter.

A police spokeswoman said the death was being treated as unexplained and there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. Anyone with information should contact Suffolk Constabulary on 101.