'Fantastic guy' tribute to mobility scooter flood victim

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Media captionAerial footage of flooding in the Thames Valley area

A man who died when his mobility scooter fell into the River Thames during recent flooding was a "fantastic guy", his friend has said.

Gabriel Stocks, 47, from Wheatley, had been trying to pass a flooded pathway at Osney, west of Oxford, on 4 January when he went into the water.

He was pulled from the lock by emergency crews but died at the scene.

Mike Moon, from Kennington, said he was "devastated" by the death of Mr Stocks, whom he had known since 1997.

'Fantastic guy'

"He was a very, very good friend," Mr Moon added.

"When I heard that it was Gabriel, I was devastated. He was a fantastic guy. He'd do anything for anybody."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Gabriel Stocks was swept down the River Thames at Osney

The men first met in January 1997 when they were picked to compete in the Fastnet yacht race.

Both men used to sail together to raise money for a multiple sclerosis charity - both men have the condition.

Mr Moon said Mr Stocks was "determined" to live life to the fullest.

"I shall remember him because of his cheerfulness and pulling everybody together," he added.

The Environment Agency has warned the River Thames may continue to rise into the weekend.

Although flood water in parts of the Thames Valley has begun to recede after levels peaked earlier.

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