Boy's body recovered from River Avon


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The Independent Online

Tributes have been paid to a teenager who died after getting into difficulty while swimming in a river.

Aaron Burgess, who was named locally, was recovered by police diving teams late last night.

The 14-year-old, from Longwell Green, was cooling off in a stretch of the River Avon between Bristol and Bath yesterday evening when he disappeared under the water and did not resurface.

A search operation involving police, fire and ambulance services was launched at around 5.40pm before his body was discovered about six hours later.

Flowers and messages have been left at Saltford Weir, including one which read: "My beautiful 1st born son, always acting the fool, chip off the old block, missing you loads, see you when I get there, Dad x"

Friends of the teenager also placed messages on the social network site Twitter.

Emma Sampson wrote: "R.I.P Aaron Burgess, you didn't deserve this! My thoughts are with your family and friends, you'll be missed."

The body is expected to be formally identified later today and the coroner has been informed, police said.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We can confirm that the body of a 14-year-old boy was discovered by divers at around 11.30pm last night.

"His next of kin have been informed."

Emergency services were called to a stretch of the river behind the Jolly Sailor pub in Saltford where the teenager had been swimming on the hottest day of the year so far.

Great Western Ambulance Service said an ambulance, a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle and its hazardous area response team were sent to the incident while an air ambulance was put on standby.

Firefighters also attended along with Avon and Somerset's police underwater search unit.