Boy's body found after desperate search
A TWO-hour search ended in tragedy when the body of a 13-year-old boy was found near where he had been swimming.
EXPERTS were today carrying out a safety probe at the Norfolk broad where a 15-year-old boy drowned.
The boy, who has been named as Zabiullah Assadi from Burton-on-Trent, was pulled from Whitlingham Little Broad two hours after getting into difficulties while swimming with his 15-year-old cousin during a family barbecue early yesterday evening.
Coastguards, helicopters, boats, passers by and members of the boys' family were among those who joined the frantic rescue bid. They saved one boy, but Zabiullah was found dead two hours later at about 7.30pm.
Today the broad was cordoned off with police tape. A single bunch of flowers had been placed on the edge of the water where the youngster drowned.
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Mike Roper, programme manager at Whitlingham outdoor education centre, said: “This appears to have been a tragic accident and our thoughts and sympathies are with the young boy's family.
“Many people assisted in the rescue efforts but sadly the boy did not survive. Everyone at Whitlingham has been left deeply shocked and saddened by what happened.”
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He added: “The boy was not on an organised activity at the centre and is thought to have been swimming in the Little Broad when he got into difficulties. An investigation is underway into what happened and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”
Fire officers who joined the rescue bid spent 50 minutes in the water wearing standard breathing apparatus as they desperately tried to locate the youngster, who is known as Zabi.
Police said the coroner had been informed and an inquest would take place “in due course”.