Tributes paid to 'heroic' 12-year-old Owen Jenkins

Tributes have been paid to an 'heroic' 12-year-old boy who died in a weir after jumping into the water to try and save a girl from drowning.

Owen Jenkins leapt into Beeston Marina to try and rescue a youngster who had got into difficulty on Monday evening .

Owen Jenkins. Photo - SWNS

Owen Jenkins. Photo - SWNS

The keen rugby player disappeared from sight just before 6pm and his body was found four hours later at around 10pm.

Speaking yesterday (Tuesday) his great aunt, Liz Ryan, 57, said: "He went in the water to save a girl and help her get out, and he couldn't swim much himself.

"We don't know the full story but all we know is that he is a hero.

"He didn't think of himself.

Tributes to Owen have been left at the scene. Photo - SWNS

Tributes to Owen have been left at the scene. Photo - SWNS

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

She said Owen's mum Nicola and dad Gary had been left "devastated" by their son's death.

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

Hundreds of members of the public also helped look for Owen after he went missing in the River Trent, in Beeston.

Beeston Marina. Photo - SWNS

Beeston Marina. Photo - SWNS

Ian Brierly, head teacher of Chilwell School, where Owen was a pupil, also paid tribute to the youngster.

He said: "We heard that someone got into difficulties - a female - in the area and he went into the river to help.

"That is indicative of his character. He would always put the safety and welfare of other people before his own. It was an act of selfless courage.

"Owen was a very popular student. He was an enthusiastic and gregarious young man.

"He was an exceptional sportsman and we recently celebrated his success from sports day when he broke several longstanding sports records in athletics - 200m which was one of them.

"He was a key member of our community and we are heartbroken at the loss.

"He was a very level-headed young man who always tried to do his best and would put himself out to help anyone.

"Year Seven have been working through their grief, thoughts and feelings regarding this tragedy in our Lakeview Building (Sixth Form) and have already started the process of remembrance with a tribute board.

"Our thoughts are with Owen's immediate family during this difficult time."

A Facebook post by the boy's rugby team, Nottingham Casuals RFC, said: "It is with profound sadness and regret that we confirm the loss of 12-year-old Owen Jenkins who died at Beeston Weir.

"We cannot express how deep our sorrow is and our thoughts are with Owen's family and friends.

"Owen has played Rugby for Nottingham Casuals RFC since he was 7 and was loved [by] his team mates and everyone he came into contact with.

"His teammates are in bits this morning."

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said: "We were called to reports that a boy had gone into the River Trent off Riverside Road at around 6pm.

"Fire and Ambulance crews were also on scene and specialist search teams launched a major search operation, but sadly at around 10pm a body was found in the water.

"Our thoughts are with the family during this time."

Mus Phillips, 45, moorings manager at Beeston Marina,said: "Any weir by definition is dangerous. It is a dangerous spot, it is open and a very fast flowing river.

"Someone has got to be responsible for the safety of the weir. It needs signage or blocking off or a fence around it.

"Unless they do something there will be another tragedy here."