Owen Jenkins, 12, died trying to save friend from Nottingham river

Bethany Minelle, Sky News Reporter

A 12-year-old boy "who couldn't swim much" has died after he went into the River Trent to help a struggling friend.

Owen Jenkins was described by his family as a "hero" after it came to light he was attempting to help a girl who was having difficulties at Beeston Marina in Nottingham.

Owen's great aunt, Liz Ryan, said he was playing with friends when "he went in the water to save a girl and help her get out".

Explaining that "he couldn't swim much himself", she went on: "We don't know the full story but all we know is that he is a hero. He didn't think of himself."

She added: "They were told not to go - 'don't go playing down the weir' - and obviously that's what they do."

Nottingham Police were called to the lock off Riverside Road at around 6pm on Monday night when Oliver was reported missing.

Police divers, three search boats, a helicopter, a drone and more than 30 firefighters from Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire were involved in the search.

Hundreds of members of the public also came out, searching until dark when helicopters with infrared cameras were sent out.

The body was discovered in the water at around 10pm.

Owen's grandmother and her husband said the boy's father spent the whole night sitting by the weir where the tragedy happened.

Lynda Fletcher said: "He was like a giraffe, he was nearly 6ft tall. He was just a friendly giant.

"Everybody loved him because he was so nice. They loved him because he was so kind and polite."

Nottingham Casuals RFC Rugby Union club, where Owen had played since he was seven-years-old, said: "We cannot express how deep our sorrow is and our thoughts are with Owen's Family and friends."

They went on to say he "was loved [by] his team mates and everyone he came into contact with".