Tributes paid to 'talented' schoolboy who died after getting into difficulty on Pembrokeshire beach

Zac was described as having a "cheeky smile" and "a huge zest for life".

Tributes have been paid to a "talented sportsman" and "much-loved" schoolboy who died after getting into difficulty in the water.

Local reports suggest Zac Thompson, 11, was playing with his elder brother and cousin when all three were swept out to sea.

Whilst his brother and cousin managed to swim ashore, Zac was dragged under the water at West Angle Bay, Pembrokeshire and later died.

"We are heartbroken, Zac was a lovely young man, a valued pupil and will be greatly missed!"

Pembroke Dock Community School, where Zac attended, posted on Facebook: "With the permission of the family, it is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Zac Thompson, who was a popular and much-loved character in Year 6 at Pembroke Dock Community School.

Zac dressed up as his mum on Superhero Day at school.

"He excelled academically, in particular in maths, who loved to solve complex mental maths challenges (keeping staff on their toes). He was also a talented sportsman. Zac recently played exceptionally well in cricket, helping the school get through to the area finals, which are due to be played this week.

"He had a cheeky smile, was funny and was looking forward to his final weeks in primary school, the summer holidays and all the opportunities that were open to him as he moved on to secondary school.

"Zac had a huge zest for life! One sweet memory of him was when he was in Year 3, and it was Superhero Day. Zac came to school dressed as his favourite superhero – his Mum. Zac said, “Not all superheroes wear capes!”

The statements concluded with: "This is a dreadfully sad time for his family, and our love, thoughts and prayers are with both his family and his wide circle of friends, who will miss his big character and mischievous nature. There will be many staff on hand to support the learners on Monday and beyond this week.

"We are heartbroken, Zac was a lovely young man, a valued pupil and will be greatly missed!"

More than £12,000 has already been raised to support Zac's family through a Just Giving page.

A minute of applause was held for the schoolboy ahead of the Cricket Finals on Monday (July 4), which he was supposed to be participating in.

Following the incident, Zac was brought ashore by a member of the public where he was assisted by emergency responders, but he failed to regain consciousness.

He was flown more than 100 miles by Air Ambulance to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff but died the next day (July 2).

An inquest is expected to be opened later.