Friends pay tribute to millionaire farmer, 49, who died in private lake skiing accident

Tributes were paid on Friday to a much-loved millionaire farmer, who died in a jet skiing accident on a private lake.

The body of Ben Turner, 49, was recovered by divers from the 30-feet deep body of water in Newdigate, Surrey, in the early hours of Monday morning (November 7).

It remains unclear if Mr Turner, who lived in nearby Dorking, was alone on the jet ski or with a group at the time of the accident on Sunday afternoon.

Eye witnesses, however, have told police they saw him fall off his jet ski in the middle of the lake.

A keen carriage racing enthusiast, the farmer was also a driver on the banger racing scene.

And it was The Carriage Commentator- a digital forum on Facebook for the carriage sport – which led the tributes.

“This is a sad day as one of our brightest lights has been extinguished and we are trying to absorb the shocking news about Ben Turner. Many of us saw and chatted to him at the recent Reading carriage sale and as ever, he was full of ideas and fun,” it said.

“Ben brought so much to driving and genuinely loved it – we shall miss his exuberance and dedication, his humility and his friendship.

“Our love and condolences to his family and those closest to him.”

ORI Media, meanwhile, who promote banger racing in the UK, offered an equally glowing tribute.

“During the 90s Ben would become such a significant part of the team he would be known as Mr Posse by fans who watched,” it said.

“He had some amazing moments during his time in the sport and raced a variety of different racetracks but the one thing that stayed the same was that he was an all around entertainer on track and no one seems to have a bad word to say to him. He had one of the best attitudes to the sport.”

Elsewhere on Facebook, Giles Simon wrote: “Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Ben Turner. We might not bump into each other for years but each time we did you greeted me like your long-lost best pal. You were a force of nature!

“You will be hugely missed by so many. Sending heartfelt condolences to the family at such a sad sad time. Till we meet again Ben.”

And Kymberley Pody added: “Heartbroken by the news today of my dear friend Ben Turner passing. You brought such joy to everyone around you and will be truly missed by so many people.

“Kind, generous, funny and super crazy to name a few, A true legend! Wish we had more days together, will cherish our memories forever RIP Turner Burner love always.”

A spokesperson for Surrey Police, who are investigating the incident said in a statement: “We were called to reports of a person in the water at a private lake in Newdigate at around 3.45pm on Sunday (November 6).

“Sadly, the body of a 49-year-old man from Dorking was recovered from the water in the early hours of Monday morning, following search efforts by Surrey Fire and Rescue, Surrey Search and Rescue and specialist officers.

“His next of kin have been informed. We are not treating the death as suspicious or looking for any third party at this time.”

Specialist Group International (SGI), who were called by police to the scene said: “Emergency services and volunteers from Surrey Search and Rescue attended and spent hours searching but were unable to find the man and therefore SGI were mobilised.

“The man was quickly located using our high frequency side scan sonar and sadly recovered by SGI divers.

“The man was not wearing a life jacket. Our thoughts go out to the man’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Police will be preparing a file for the coroner’s office.