31 May 2023

Family pay tribute to teenager whose body was found in river

31 May 2023

The parents of a teenager who died after going into a river in warm weather have warned of the dangers as they paid tribute to him.

The body of Lewis Michael Kirkpatrick, 15, was was found in the river Eden in Carlisle, Cumbria, at about 1.30pm on Saturday after emergency services received reports that he and three other teenage boys had got into trouble in the water on Friday evening.

On Wednesday, his parents, Nichola and Paul Kirkpatrick, paid tribute to their “kind, caring and funny son”.

They warned of the dangers of rivers, saying: “We don’t want any other families to suffer the same, awful loss.”

Lewis was the baby of the family and his death has left a gaping hole that can never be filled

In a statement released by police, the couple said: “Lewis was the baby of the family and his death has left a gaping hole that can never be filled.

“Lewis was a loving son, brother of Kyle and Nathan, grandson, nephew, cousin, uncle, friend, and boyfriend of Kiara.”

The family expressed gratitude to the emergency services and agencies who helped in the search for Lewis, and a member of the public “who risked his own life to try to help the boys”.

They also said they were overwhelmed by messages of support and thanked Carlisle United and Stockport County fans, who paid their respects in the 15th minute of the Sky Bet League Two play-off final on Sunday.

Officers from Cumbria Constabulary were alerted to the four boys struggling in the water in the city’s Rosehill area at 6.41pm on Friday, prompting the launch of a large multi-agency search.

A 14-year-old was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition, while one of the group managed to swim to safety and another was rescued by a member of the public, the force said.

Emergency services issued fresh safety warnings over the bank holiday weekend as people spent time near the sea and rivers during the warm weather.

In Devon, two men aged in their 20s died on Saturday after being pulled from the sea off the coast of Oddicombe, Torbay.

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