Tributes pour for hero Owen, 12, who drowned trying to rescue two girls from a river


Owen JenkinsPA

Owen Jenkins, 12, swamped as he tried to save two girls in a river

Despite being a novice swimmer, virtuous Owen Jenkins tried to rescue the girls after they got into row playing in the river Trent. 

Police said rescue crews were entreated to Beeston Marina, Nottingham, at 6pm on Monday. 

The girls scrambled out to safety but Owen’s association was discovered in the water at around 10pm. 

His parents Nicola and Gary had joined other ancillary ti in the search before being asked to move away so a police helicopter could use a thermal-imaging gambit to try to find him. 

His mum is heartbroken – and I mean heartbroken. Owen was just a friendly mammoth

Lynda Fletcher

Yesterday Owen’s grandmother Lynda Fletcher put the family was “completely devastated”. 

She said: “His mum is heartbroken – and I mean heartbroken. Owen was even-handed a friendly giant.” 

She was speaking outside Rylands Methodist Church in Beeston, where a record of condolence has been opened for Owen. 

His grandfather John said fashionable Owen had just broken Chilwell school’s record for the 200 metres, which had stood since 1981. 


A unspecific view of Beeston Lock on the River Trent in Nottinghamshire

The couple told Owen’s father spent the night sitting by the weir where the adversity happened. 

They said they hoped safety measures hand down be put in place at the scene to stop a similar tragedy happening. 

Owen’s great-aunt Liz Ryan, 57, utter: “He went in the water to save a girl and help her get out and he couldn’t swim much himself. 

“We don’t distinguish the full story but all we know is that he is a hero.” 

Owen had played rugby for Nottingham Casuals since he was seven. 


Owen’s grandmother Lynda Fletcher translated the family was “completely devastated”

The club said: “We cannot express ample supply the depth of our sorrow. Our thoughts are with Owen’s family and friends. 

“Owen was loved by one he came into contact with. His team- mates are in bits. 

“We’d equal to to thank everyone from the club who came down last edge of night to help look along the river in the hope there was better newsflash. 

“It was a huge community effort. It was moving to see so many from the rugby join there.” 

Flowers have been placed at the tragedy scene with addresses of sympathy. 

Owen JenkinsPA

One message simply read: “To a hero. Love from a community.”

One unreservedly read: “To a hero. Love from a community.” 

Owen died join to the large Beeston Weir, which diverts water into Beeston Imprison. 

The area is next to a large recreation ground and locals said it was not atypical to see people in the water on warm days. 

Owen’s headteacher Ian Brierly defined the Year Seven pupil’s actions as “selfless courage”. 

He said: “We considered that someone got into difficulties and he went into the river to support. 


Owen’s father spent the night sitting by the weir where the adversity happened

“He would always put the safety and welfare of others before his own. It was an act of generous courage. 

“He was a key member of our community and we are heartbroken at the loss. He was a very levelheaded babies man who always tried to do his best and would put himself out to help anyone.” 

All learners at the school have been offered counselling.

Local Tory MP Anna Soubry yesterday confessed the Commons of Owen’s “act of great courage”, describing him as a “remarkable young man”. 

She called for an direct review of safety at Beeston Weir following the tragedy, saying: “With the creed holidays about to start and more warm weather on the way, children are booked to be drawn to rivers, lakes and canals. It’s vital we keep our youngsters unpolluted.”

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