Published: 10:00, 01 June 2017
The family of a popular plumber killed in a freak jet ski accident have spoken of the heartbreaking loss of a treasured son and brother.
Car enthusiast Jordan Lupton, 25, died after the tragic incident in the sea at Hampton, Herne Bay, on Saturday afternoon.
The former St Anselm’s schoolboy was in a rubber ring being towed by a jet ski when he was struck by another jet ski at about 4pm.
He suffered serious injuries and was treated on the beach by paramedics as his mother and sister, Therese and Jasmine, desperately watched on.
Much-loved Jordan was flown by air ambulance to King’s College hospital in London, where his family rushed to his bedside.
But doctors had to break the devastating news that he would not recover and in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday, the family agreed to his life support machine being turned off.
Mrs Lupton, 57, a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, says she was alerted to the accident while at work near the family home in Queensbridge Drive, Herne Bay, and rushed to the beach with her daughter.
Jasmine, 27, who teaches at Hoath primary school, said: “At the time, I don’t think they were aware just how critical he was because all his signs were still going, but they think he had been unconscious in the water.
“Jordan was very fit and I think his body was fighting for life but at the hospital they were basically keeping him alive so we and his closest friends, including his girlfriend Maria, could say goodbye.
“It was heartbreaking but the doctors and nurses were absolutely brilliant to us.”
Mrs Lupton paid a moving tribute to her son, who was a keen motocross rider, mountain biker and rugby player.
In his younger years, he also boxed for clubs in Herne Bay and Whitstable and was captain of one of Whitstable Rugby Club’s junior teams.
“He loved having a go at everything and enjoyed keeping very fit,” said Mrs Lupton.
“It was just a freak accident. He was just enjoying himself on the water. Perhaps there needs to be training for jet skiers before they get out in the water because they are very fast machines.”
Since Jordan’s death, the family has been flooded with messages of sympathy.
Mrs Lupton said: “I don’t think Jordan realised just how popular he was. He had so many friends in the many circles he mixed in and it’s been a comfort to know that and hear it from them.
“He was a cheeky chap, always smiling and joking who was car-mad and had two BMWs for which he was always buying bits.
“But there was nothing brash about him. He was a bit of a homebird who had no desire to travel. He was just happy enjoying himself with his mates. He was just a lovely lad.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.
Canterbury City Council’s foreshore manager, Matthew Young, says the authority will fully co-operate with the coroner if required.
“Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Mr Lupton,” he said.
“The jet skis involved were being used in the permitted area and in accordance with the appropriate bylaws.
“Our public launching ramp at Hampton is very popular and our attendant helped with the rescue of the casualty.”
A police spokesman says there will be no further investigation of the accident as no crimes were recorded.
Therese Lupton says she is proud of the man her son had become, in spite of her husband and his father abandoning the family almost 11 years ago.
Builder Sean Lupton was arrested on suspicion of robbery following the £53 million Securitas raid in Tonbridge in 2006.
But two weeks later, he left home after telling Mrs Lupton he was going to work, but was never seen again.
At first Mrs Lupton feared he had been murdered, but there have been sightings of him in Northern Cyprus.
Mrs Lupton was left to bring up their two children alone and has never heard from him since.
She even went to Cyprus with Jordan in 2013 to try and find him after Kent Police visited the island.
She told KentOnline's sister paper, the Kentish Gazette: “I have tried to get some sort of closure for the children after their dad left.
“I am very proud of how both my son and daughter, Jordan and Jasmine turned out, so losing him really is a double blow.”
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