Friends of a teenage boy who died in the River Avon today described how a day out in the sun to make the most of the summer holidays ended in tragedy.
The body of the 14-year-old was pulled from the river at around 11.30pm last night. Named locally as Aaron Burgess from Longwell Green, the teen had been playing with friends in the river when he got into difficulty.
Despite attempts to save him by his friends the youngster failed to resurface sparking a massive rescue operation by emergency services shortly before 6pm.
Floral tributes have been left at Saltford Weir where the group had been playing.
– Father of Aaron Burgess
My beautiful 1st born son, always acting the fool, chip off the old block, missing you loads, see you when I get there.
Jesse Stroud was among the friends playing in the water and frantically tried to help his pal.
– Jesse Stroud
He was trying to keep his head just above the water and he was really struggling my friend was shouting at me to try and help him and we were trying to keep him above the water.
The youngster described his terror as the tragedy unfolded. He said he thought passersby believed they were messing around.
– Jesse Stroud
I was just panicking, I couldn’t believe it because I didn’t think anything like this would ever happen. He was good friend and recently I had really started getting to know him. And it is just a shock that he is gone. I just can’t believe it. It is horrible. I tried my best. He was really nice. He really didn’t deserve this to happen. He was a really nice person and really funny
After six hours rescue workers discovered a body in the water.
– SPOKESMAN FOR AVON AND AND SOMERSET CONSTABULARY
We can confirm that the body of a 14-year-old body was discovered by divers at around 11.30pm last night. His next of kin have been informed_
Tributes have been paid on social networking site Facebook where a page has been set up in his memory.
– SALLY CURTIS, TEACHER
Aaron- such a quiet lad, so tragically taken yesterday. My thoughts are with his family and friends, I cannot imagine how you are feeling. He was a lovely lad and I am proud to have taught him last year. Sleep well Aaron x
– Phoenix Allstars Cheer Sqaud
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Aaron's friends and family at this terrible time. Many of the girls in our cheer squad knew Aaron and it is a terrible, terrible tradgedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
The body is expected to be formally identified later today.