'Heartbreak' over teenager's Stapleford river death

Josh Boothman Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption Josh's sister Kate Sermon said her brother "always had a smile"

The sister of a boy whose body was pulled from a river in Nottinghamshire says her brother's death has left a "hole" in her life.

Police have not yet named the victim, but it is understood Josh Boothman, 13, went missing in the River Erewash at Stapleford on Saturday afternoon.

Fire officers and the ambulance service helped search for him and police divers found a body just after 17:30 BST.

Kate Sermon said she still could not believe what had happened to Josh.

Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption Police are investigating how Josh came to be in the river

"He was the youngest of my brothers and sisters and he doted on my son - who's nearly three and thankfully blissfully unaware of what's happened," Ms Sermon said.

"Josh always had a smile of his face and was such a happy boy whenever I saw him. I just saw him briefly yesterday morning, as I was getting on a bus. He waved through the window, to me, my partner, and my son, with his usual great big smile.

"It's still not 100% real in my head yet. I keep expecting him to knock on the door to say it was all a mistake."

Image caption Police were called to a stretch of the River Erewash in Stapleford on Saturday where they later found a body

Ms Sermon said she was still unsure about exactly what had happened but heard Josh was with a friend when he fell in to the water, his friend went in to try to help him but could not get him out.

Family friend, Sean Fay, said Josh was "a great young lad and will be missed by many". He added: "Such a young life taken too soon. But his family will have all of us in Stapleford behind them for support at this hard time."

Image copyright Kate Sermon
Image caption A family friend said Josh was "a great lad"

In a statement, Nottinghamshire Police said investigations in to what happened were "ongoing".

Paul Moore MBE, from the Royal Life Saving Society, said although the water was not very deep at that part of the river, it could still be dangerous.

"The water that runs through here is reasonably shallow but the problem is, you don't know what's underneath," he said.

"There are rocks and vegetation and other things people have dumped in there too. It's very dangerous, people don't need deep water to drown."

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