AN Edinburgh company director, who enjoyed the sport of extreme swimming, has drowned after getting into difficulties off the coast of south Devon.
Jonathan Joyce, 41, co-founder and technical director at Capital-based Storm ID, was spotted unconscious in the water by a canoeist who took him ashore at Beesands beach, near Salcombe on Saturday.
He was treated by paramedics before being airlifted to hospital, but died a short time later.
Mr Joyce, who had a master’s degree from Edinburgh University, worked in the City for much of his career and helped launch Storm ID in 2001.
Colleagues spoke of their shock and paid tribute to “an extremely gifted and remarkable individual”.
Mr Joyce’s parents Pete, 66, and Denise, 65, paid tribute to their son, saying he had “many reasons to be proud”.
They recalled his pleasure at having helped establish a successful company.
“Storm ID had been established for a few years and they hosted a party on the beach. Jonathan had looked out and seen about 100 people – mothers, fathers, children, young people and their partners – all having fun together in the knowledge that they had a secure future. He was proud he had been able to help create that.
“Jonathan lived for 41 years and died knowing that he was loved and admired for every single moment by his parents.”
Storm ID’s clients included the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, National Trust for Scotland and Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre.
Simon Wall, Paul McGinness and Craig Turpie at Storm ID paid tribute to the colleague they knew as “JJ” on the company website. They said: “His passing has come as a huge shock to all of us at Storm ID and he will be sorely missed. We have lost not only a wonderful and passionate colleague but a dear friend.
“The only comfort we can take is that our lives have been greatly enriched by the privilege of knowing him and for having done some incredible work with an extremely gifted and remarkable individual.”
Messages left on the website included one from Dave Malins saying “I really can’t believe this. Very sad news indeed. JJ was an inspiration, a great friend and colleague, and will be sorely missed.”
Mr Joyce was a leading member of the Outdoor Swimming Society and created a “wild swim map”. The society’s website said: “Jonathan is the missing link with our aquatic ape ancestors. Throwing himself into any water deeper than a puddle he spends all his free time looking for new places to swim, in and around Devon.”