The funeral of 15-year-old Tonibeth Purvis, who died in the River Wear last week while trying to save her friend Chloe Fowler, has taken place in her hometown of Washington.
In a eulogy delivered by the Rev Canon David Glover, he said:
"One thing that has profoundly moved me in this is that Tonibeth's parents want it made clear that that what happened was just an accident - no one was to blame - no one should live with any guilt about this.
"This was just a tragic accident.
"But if there is any consolation for you it may be in the fact that Tonibeth died trying to help her friend.
"She died a hero but most important she died a friend."
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Sandiford, a former legal secretary originally from Redcar, was convicted of drug smuggling offences and sentenced to death in 2013.
Durham Crown Court heard that one of the male victims suffered a triple-fractured jaw, while left lying in the gutter, unconscious.