FRIENDS and family of a much-loved paramedic gathered to open a beach hut in his memory.

Jim McKeough, a Brighton paramedic for 13 years, died in a motorcycle crash on February 3.

To remember the “amazing” medic, colleagues from the South East Coast Ambulance service (Secamb) joined his family and friends to open “Jim’s Place” – one of the new beach hut bars on Hove seafront at the weekend.

His widow Paula McKeough-Lea, 48, defied the wind and rain and declared Jim’s Place open by cutting the ribbon.

Mrs McKeough-Lea, herself a paramedic, said: “It was so amazing to see all of Jim’s family, friends and work colleagues here.

“Jim probably brought the rain with him and was looking over us smiling today.”

Mrs McKeough-Lea described her husband as a well-loved paramedic with a fondness for rock music and motorbikes.

The community was asked to come up with names for each of the beach shacks on the new Rockwater development.

Angelique Henderson van Gils, a first responder for Secamb, organised the naming and opening of the hut with the Rockwater team.

Operational unit manager for the Brighton and Hove area Tim Fellows addressed the crowd.

He said: “What better place than the middle of Hove where he served everyone for so long.

“You can’t say too many good things about Jim because he means something different to all of us. A really great colleague, fantastic bloke, who liked everything whether it be bikes, rum or most of all, Paula.”

A plaque on the shack reads “James ‘Jim’ McKeough… A life that touches others goes on forever”.

It has been placed next to the Secamb crest and a painting of Jim by artist Henry.

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade and city councillor Carmen Appich, Westbourne Ward representative, also joined the crowd.

Cllr Appich said: “It’s nice to have the memorial to Jim, what a lovely thing to do.

“Now, every time someone goes to buy a coffee, he will be remembered.”