Stoke & Staffordshire

Vigil plans for 13-year-old Stoke-on-Trent lake victim

Ryan Evans Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Ryan Evans was found by police divers after a three-day search

A vigil is being planned to remember 13-year-old Ryan Evans who's body was pulled out of a lake earlier this week.

His body was discovered at Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday.

Rescue crews had been searching for the Haywood Academy pupil, after he and two friends were spotted "in distress" in the water on Monday.

Tributes have been left on a bench at the lake, including flowers and Port Vale shirts and almost £14,500 has been donated towards his funeral.

In a statement, his family said they have been "overwhelmed" with messages of support so far, describing him as their "world".

Image caption School pupils have been offered professional support

They also urged people to be aware of the risks in swimming outdoors, adding: "We just cannot emphasise enough the dangers of swimming in open water, especially where young children are concerned.

"Our message is simple, please don't do it."

About 100 people attended a separate vigil on Thursday, organised by Families in Need in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle.

Sgt Matthew Bennion was among those who attended. He said: "It has really touched everybody. It has been really difficult.

"It has been amazing to see how much the community has got involved in supporting the families and supporting the officers and all the different emergency services involved."

Image caption About 100 people attended a vigil at the lake on Thursday, organised by the group Families in Need in Stoke and Newcastle

Saturday's lakeside vigil will start at 18:30 BST and Sgt Bennion, a family liaison officer, said Ryan's family are due to attend.

There will be a picture of Ryan, a book of condolence for people to sign, and extra car parking.

If you do swim in open water here is some advice

Image copyright Getty Images
  • Get to know where you are swimming and check the conditions before going in
  • Make sure you are properly equipped
  • Beware of the cold
  • Make sure someone knows where you have gone and why, and that you have the means to call for help - especially in remote locations
  • Take note of local safety advice and respect the countryside, landowners and other users

Source: National Water Safety Forum

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