Tyneside girl 'died a hero' trying to save friend in river

A teenager died a hero but "most importantly" a friend when she tried in vain to save a girl from a fast-flowing river, the rector conducting her funeral said today.

Tonibeth Purvis has been called a "hero" by the Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Washington, Tyne and Wear

Tonibeth Purvis, 15, from Barmston in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and Chloe Fowler, 14, from Shiney Row, near Sunderland, died after getting into difficulties in the River Wear last Tuesday.

It is thought that Chloe got into the river at Fatfield to cool off during the heatwave and, when she started to struggle in the water, other teenagers went in to help her.

The girls' bodies were found hours after a major rescue attempt was launched by the emergency services.