FRIENDS and family have paid tribute to the woman who drowned after being trapped in a sea cave.

In a story by the London Evening Standard she was identified as Charlotte “Buffy” Furness-Smith, a teacher and former Royal Navy poster girl who worked at the London Olympics.

The 30-year-old was “coasteering” with her 31-year-old brother Alex when she was washed into Tilly Whim caves near Swanage on Saturday 2 November”.

Rescuers spent two hours talking to her through a blowhole but could not reach her in time.

In a family statement her mum Patricia, 57, and dad Charles, 58, from Amersham in Buckinghamshire, were stated as“devastated” and remain “shocked and deeply upset”

Ms Furness-Smith’s godfather Jon Coles said: “Buffy was a wonderful girl with an engaging personality and a fabulous friend to all. She was a dedicated and vivacious teacher who loved the outdoor life.”

Ms Furness-Smith was born in Trinidad and Tobago and the family moved to the UK when she was eight. She joined the Royal Navy Reserves at Exeter University where she graduated in engineering before going on to qualify as a maths teacher.

She was part of the Navy’s recruitment team and was based at the unit HMS Wildfire in Northwood and had even visited Downing Street before volunteering to serve in the second Gulf war in 2008.

On her return she was employed at a prep school in Windsor teaching mathematics, and volunteered with the Navy to work at the London Olympics, where she was stationed at Greenwich Park to carry out body and bag searches as part of the security team drafted in following the shortage of G4S staff.

Two months ago she began a new job teaching maths at the Bristol Free School.

Mark Morgan, lifelong friends of the family, told the standard: “I suppose everyone says of a deceased that ‘she was a beautiful girl’, but in Buffy’s case she really was.

“She was always happy, smiling and full of the joys of life.

Former Navy colleagues and pupils today also paid tribute to the teacher.

Writing online, Wolfgang Richter said: “RIP my good friend you shall be very missed by everyone, you shall always live on in the hearts and minds of those you have touched.

“From your good friend in the service”, while a former pupil said on Twitter: “My old Maths teach drowned while trapped in a sea cave while rock climbing. Total Shock. She was quite young as we’ll. RIP.

“This just proves that death is just round the corner waiting and could pounce on you any minute from now.”

Coasteering is an adventure activity that involves free climbing up and along a rock face and jumping into the water to swim.

A member of the public had raised the alarm when he spotted her brother, a consultant, in difficulty in the water at about 2.55pm on Saturday.

It was only when he was rescued unhurt by a coastguard helicopter that the crew learned of his trapped sister.

Her body could not be recovered because of severe weather, and police are still hunting for her remains, officially classing her as a “missing person”.

Dave Turnbull, of the Swanage lifeboat, said: “With the tide getting higher another coastguard officer entered through the blowhole but found the woman had sadly succumbed to the conditions. It was very sad and a truly awful situation to have been in.”

A spokesman for Portland coastguard said: “The water was charging in through the cave practically filling it up and then shooting up the hole, pushing the officer back up. The casualty had been communicating but unfortunately she was found to be deceased when the officer entered the cave.

“Our thoughts are with her family. It was a horrible thing for anyone to have to go through and it had an unfortunate and tragic outcome.”