The family of a man who was found dead last week on the Teifi river have paid tribute to a 'mischievous free spirit'.

Leon Vernon-White, aged 24, from Tewkesbury, was reported missing after a canoe he was in capsized on the river Teifi in Cardigan on Thursday evening.

A large-scale search was conducted throughout the evening and his body was discovered at around 1am on Friday, 7 June.

Leon's family have this week paid tribute to him, describing him as a ‘mischievous free spirit’.

Teifi search
Search teams on the Teifi on Thursday night (BBC)

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police said: "Leon, aged 24, from Tewkesbury, was reported missing when the canoe he was in capsized in the River Teifi, in Cardigan.

"Despite a multi-agency search over several hours, he could not be saved."

His family have paid tribute to Leon, a well-known face around Tewkesbury where he was a busker playing his guitar and singing.

His family said: “He was a free spirit who had the ability to put a smile on everyone's face. He could be mischievous and stubborn but also caring and loving and fiercely loyal, a constant source of entertainment to all those who knew him.

“He described himself as a jewellery artist, musician and science enthusiast, and this sums him up perfectly.

“Leon loved animals, especially his two dogs Missy and Sid, who went everywhere with him.

“He was a real character and had a large circle of friends from all walks of life.

“He will be deeply missed, loved and forever in our hearts.”

His family have also thanked the emergency services who responded to the incident

“We would like to express our gratitude to the emergency services and all those involved in the search for Leon, and to family and friends for all the kind words and continued support.”

Dyfed-Powys Police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard and specialist search and rescue teams searched the area and members of the public were advised to stay away on Thursday evening.

A spokesperson for Mid and West Wales Fire Service said: “At 7.42pm on Thursday, 6 June, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) crews from Haverfordwest, Carmarthen, Cardigan and Crymych Fire Stations were called to an incident at the River Teifi in Cardigan.

“Two MAWWFRS boats were deployed to the river to conduct a systematic search, with other crew members walking along the riverbank to assist with the search.”