A 12-year-old girl has drowned whilst playing in a river with her friends, bringing the number of deaths in this summer’s first heatwave to three.
The body of Shukri Yahya Abdi was recovered from the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, on Wednesday evening by underwater search teams.
Her mother Zamzam Ture revealed that her daughter could not swim and that she had no idea why she was near the water in the first place.
Shukri came to the UK from Somalia as a refugee with her family 12 months ago and was the eldest of five children.
Speaking through an interpreter, her mother said she was an “amazing” young girl who was “quiet but optimistic”.
"She did everything that was expected of her. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling well so she went down and made breakfast for all of us,” she said.
The death of Shukri, who was with two other girls at the time of the tragedy, comes as the UK is expected to see the hottest day of the year this weekend, with temperatures set to soar above 30C (86F).
According to the Met Office the temperature could reach a maximum of 34C (93.2F) in London and the east of England on Saturday.
The highest ever temperature on record for June was 35.6C (96F) in 1976.
Across Europe, hot Saharan winds have brought scorching weather with temperatures in some parts exceeding 40C (104F).
Det Insp Andrew Naismith, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "This is an incredibly tragic incident in which a young girl has lost her life, and my thoughts are with her family at this devastating time.
"We have a team of detectives working on this, but there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances at this time.
"With the warmer weather, it’s tempting to go into the water to cool off, but I’d like to remind everyone of the dangers of playing near or swimming in rivers, lakes and reservoirs and would strongly urge against this."
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service watch manager Steve Wilcock said: "When the crews arrived on the scene, there were two other children who had seen their friend disappear in the river."
Mr Wilcock said the river was more than 20ft deep in parts.
He added: "I would really emphasise to children not to play out in open waterways.
"We would also say to parents, know where your children are, know what they are doing."
He said fire crews worked with police and the ambulance service before Shukri's body was recovered from the water just before midnight.
Meteorologists put more than half of France on alert for high temperatures, while in Germany rescue services urged people to look out for young children, the elderly and others at risk in hot conditions.
Summing up the UK weather for Friday, Greg Dewhurst, a Met Office meteorologist said: "It's a bit of a cloudy start across some eastern parts of the country but this will soon clear and we're looking at a sunny day for much of the UK."
Mr Dewhurst said weather conditions will see an "east west split" with the highest temperatures in the west and an easterly breeze cooling the other half of the country.
Temperatures in Wales and the west country, including festival-goers at Glastonbury, could see temperatures of 30 or 31C on Friday.
In west Scotland it could reach 27 or 28C and in Northern Ireland 25C, while in Aberdeen it will be a cooler 17C and in London and down the east coast 24C.
After a humid Friday night, Mr Dewhurst said Saturday would be a case of "role reversal".
The highest temperatures will be in the east, with a maximum of 34C possible in an area covering London and up towards Lincolnshire.
"We will see the hottest day of the year so far," said Mr Dewhurst.
He said the sharp rise in UK temperatures was not a heatwave, which are typically considered to last three days or more.
"It's more just a hot spell rather than a heat wave," he said.
"It's different for Europe because it's more prolonged."
More widely across the east of England on Saturday temperatures will range between 29 and 32C, while in the west it will be 22 to 25C.
On Saturday night there will be a risk of thundery showers in northern parts of the UK, bringing fresher air on Sunday.
Maximum temperatures could reach 25C on Sunday in the south east.
Mr Dewhurst said the outlook for next week was a mix of sunny spells, scattered showers and lower temperatures.