Owen Jenkins death: Funeral for 'hero' river rescue boy

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Owen Jenkins died while trying to rescue a girl from a weir

Hundreds of people have paid their respects at the funeral of a 12-year-old "hero" who died while trying to rescue a girl from a weir.

Owen Jenkins' body was found in the River Trent near Beeston Marina and Beeston Weir following a major search on 10 July.

On 23 July, hundreds of bikers took part in a ride to the weir as part of a tribute to the schoolboy.

The funeral service took place at Bramcote Crematorium on Saturday.

Hundreds of people lined the streets as the funeral procession passed.

A crowd applauded Owen's coffin as it approached in a horse-drawn hearse, then cheered "hip hip hooray" three times.

Image caption,
A horse-drawn hearse carried the coffin to the service at Bramcote Crematorium
Image caption,
Owen's cousin, Paige Staniforth, said he would have been embarrassed that "loads of people were there for him"

His mother Nicola Jenkins, who urged mourners to wear purple and red tops, her son's favourite colours, said the service was a chance to celebrate his life.

Writing about Owen on her Facebook page, she said: "You will always be remembered for your heroic actions, you gave your life to save others.

"We will always have you in our hearts forever."

Owen's cousin, Paige Staniforth, said after the service: "He would have been so embarrassed that loads of people are here for him but he deserves it, he really does.

"He deserves the world and more. It's just heartbreaking that he's gone."

Image caption,
Doves were released into the air after the funeral service
Image caption,
Nottz Bikerz were asked to escort the funeral procession

A major search operation was launched following reports a boy had gone into the River Trent off Riverside Road at about 18:00 on 10 July.

The rescue operation included seven fire engines, 28 police officers and three boats, but about four hours later Owen's body was found.

It later emerged that he had fallen in the river while saving a girl who got into difficulty.

Image source, Nottingham Casuals RFC
Image caption,
Owen played for Nottingham Casuals RFC

A Facebook post by the boy's rugby team, Nottingham Casuals RFC, said Owen was loved by his teammates and everyone he came into contact with.

Ian Brierly, head teacher at Chilwell School where Owen was a student, described him as an "enthusiastic and gregarious young man".

Anna Soubry, Conservative MP for Broxtowe, who said Owen had "lost his life in the Trent trying to help others", has called for government action to co-ordinate safety measures around open water.

She added new warning signs, lifesaving equipment, and a temporary fence were to be put in place at Beeston Weir.