Tributes to millionaire farmer Ben Turner pulled from Surrey lake after jet ski crash


Tributes have been paid to a “kind and generous” millionaire farmer found dead in a lake after a horror jet-ski accident.

Ben Turner, 49, has been named locally as the man pulled from a private lake in Newdigate, Surrey on Sunday.

His family confirmed Ben’s tragic death and shared photos of the bed and breakfast owner turned reality star who lived in nearby Dorking.

Mr Turner appeared on Channel 4’s Four-In-A-Bed where he showed off Taylor’s Farm Retreat a remote 13th Century barn which he had converted into a pole-dancing studio. It was later converted into a wedding venue.

Close friends paid tribute online, with one posting to Facebook: “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!”

Another added: “I’m deeply shocked and saddened. You certainly lived life to the full Ben.”

Mr Turner was a “bright light” in the carriage racing world - a form of competitive horse driving pulling restored antique carriages around a track favoured by the late Prince Philip.

The Carriage Commentator, a digital forum for the sport, said on Facebook: “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.

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

The tributes come as divers who recovered his body said he was not wearing a life jacket.

A Specialist Group International spokesperson said: “Late on Sunday evening, divers from Specialist Group International (SGI) were called by Surrey Police to an ongoing incident involving a missing jet skier at a private lake near Newdigate in Surrey.

“The man was reported missing around 3.15pm on Sunday afternoon after falling from a jet ski.

“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.”

A fire service spokesman said they were called after a “member of the public witnessed an individual fall into a large expanse of open water from a jet ski”.

The service sent two fire engines alongside specialist vehicles including boats and water rescue teams to search for Mr Turner.