Boy Drowns In Medway

A 12 year old boy has died after falling into the River Medway in Maidstone

Alex Chappell was playing with friends on a rope swing at a park near The Stampers in Tovil when he fell into the water at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Police say the schoolboy was unable to swim and got into difficulties. A passer-by, who saw Alex fall, dived in to try to help him but could not find the schoolboy in the deep water.

Police and two water safety unit boat teams from Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called in to search the water. A police helicopter was also used to provide support to officers in the ground. The boy's body was finally found and pulled from the water at 4.15pm, nearly two hours after he fell in. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

Alex attended Astor of Hever School. His headteacher, Vanessa Everett, said:  "We are all deeply saddened at the news of Alex's death.

"He was a very popular and lively boy who will be greatly missed by all his friends and teachers at Astor of Hever. Our thoughts and prayers are very much with his parents and family."

Police say a post-mortem examination will be carried out in the next couple of days.