THE man who died in a plane crash in Dorset at the weekend was an “inspirational” former Royal Marine who had taken part in a trans-Atlantic rowing effort for charity.

Orlando Rogers, 26, from Poole, was a passenger in a friend’s Tiger Moth when it got into trouble at around 1,500 feet, coming down in a field near Witchampton on Sunday.

He lost his fight for life in hospital later that night.

During his six years as an officer Mr Rogers was posted on tours throughout the world, including Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

Mum Julia, who was at her son’s side when he died, said: “It is understated to say that he was immensely special to all who knew him.

“His unique charisma, positive outlook and enthusiasm for life touched and inspired all those around him.

“His death leaves an unfillable void for his family and many friends and colleagues. His example on living life to the fullest will never dissipate; whether it was rowing the Atlantic, racing Zap Cats, sky diving or skiing.

“He died as he lived – in action. He was always cheerful, full of fun and the spirit of adventure.”

Mr Rogers, originally from Newton Abbot and Torquay, also leaves sister Jade and girlfriend Kathryn.

In 2007, he and fellow Marine Ben Gaffney spent more than 30 days rowing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic in a 24-foot boat.

Their record-breaking attempt, raising funds for CLIC Sargent and the Royal Navy Benevolent Trust, was filmed for an ITV documentary Go Commando.

At his passing out aged 19, Mr Rogers was the youngest Marines Officer for five years.

A black belt in Judo, he went on to train in Arctic Norway as a cold weather warfare specialist.

On leaving the marines, Mr Rogers set up maritime security business Solace Global Maritime Limited, employing many of his former comrades.