Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bockarie Sonnah named as boy who died in Edinburgh reservoir

Bocharie Sonnah Image copyright Redhall Star website
Image caption Friends have paid tribute to Bocharie Sonnah who drowned in Torduff Reservoir

A 14-year-old boy who died in a swimming accident at a reservoir near Edinburgh has been named by friends as Bockarie Sonnah.

The boy's body was recovered from Torduff Reservoir in Bonaly Country Park.

Bockarie, from Musselburgh, played football for local youth team Redhall Star.

The club expressed total shock at his death. A statement said: "He was a huge presence with a huge smile."

On its website, the club added: "He could light up the room with his bouncy personality.

"He was a leader on and off the park and well respected by everyone at the club.

"His strength and football ability earned him many plaudits over the years. This lad was a huge prospect in the game.

Image caption Emergency services were called to Torduff Reservoir in Bonaly Country Park on Monday night

"No words can fully express our grief and dismay at what has happened. We can only pass on all our thoughts and prayers to friends, family, teammates and coaches and hope they will get some strength from the out-pouring of love and support from everyone.

"Bockarie Sonnah, you are a legend who will be missed by everyone but never be forgotten."

A police statement said Bockarie, who had previously lived in the Longstone area, had been swimming with friends in the water when he got into difficulty.

Emergency services were contacted and specialist resources were deployed during the search from about 18:15.

Police Scotland's Marine Unit recovered the teenager's body at about 22:00 on Monday.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Insp Liz Duthie said: "This tragic incident demonstrates, that all bodies of water can present a number of hazards that can put the public in danger."

The reservoir is owned by Scottish Water and there are signs up to warn people against swimming.

Rescue attempt

Eyewitness James Cunningham was one of a group who tried to rescue Bockarie.

He told BBC Scotland he had arrived at the reservoir with two friends and heard screams.

"There were three or four people at the water's edge and we thought they were kidding, having a laugh," he said.

Then a woman ran past and told the men a boy was drowning.

According to Mr Cunningham, the boy was 20ft to 25ft out into the reservoir and waving his arms.

He said he grabbed a rope from his van to secure himself and his friends as they entered the water but the boy had disappeared by the time they got back.

"The water was really cold and we could not see anything under the water," he said.

"We stayed in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. We kept scanning the area. There was no sign of the boy whatsoever."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites