Glasgow river death boy was 'a hero'

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The Independent Online

The schoolfriend of a boy who drowned trying to rescue another friend from a river told today how he tried to save the "hero" teenager.

Declan Shanley, 13, jumped into the River Kelvin in Glasgow to try to save a girl who had fallen into the water.

He was among a group of youngsters playing on a sandy area known as "the beach" near the Science Centre on Friday evening.

When one of them fell in, Declan leapt into the water with another friend but got caught up in the current and was swept away.

He was pulled from the water after a two-hour search.

Andrew Bowers, 13, said he saw Declan getting into difficulty and tried to rescue him but lost his grip.

He told the Scottish Sun: "Caitlin fell into the water first and then Declan jumped in to save her.

"Declan started to get into bother and I jumped in to try to save him.

"I managed to get a hold of him and lifted him up but somehow his hand just slipped away.

"I don't know what happened, I just lost my grip."

The teenager said he got out of the water and called the police.

Andrew's mother, Sharon, told the paper that Declan was a "brave boy" and a "hero".

Tributes have been laid at the waterside spot where Declan, a pupil at John Paul Academy in Glasgow, was swept away.

Students will attend a special assembly today and they will be offered bereavement counselling to help them come to terms with the teenager's death.

Headteacher Vincent Docherty said: "I know everyone at the school will be shocked and saddened by this tragic news.

"Declan was a lovely boy, popular and full of life, who will be very sadly missed by all who knew him.

"Our thoughts and prayers are obviously very much with his family and friends at this time and we shall be supporting them in any way we can."

Declan's family wrote on the internet tribute site Gone Too Soon that he would be sadly missed "but in our hearts forever".

Police also paid tribute to Declan, whom they described as a "brave wee boy".

Chief Inspector Grahame Clarke said: "Declan was a very brave wee boy who died trying to rescue his friend.

"We would not want another family to go through what the Shanley family are going through just now."