River Death Teen: Tribute

2 August 2012, 13:03 | Updated: 2 August 2012, 13:13

The family of a 15 year old who died swimming in a river in Northamptonshire say they don't want anyone else to have to go through what they have.

The body of Daniel McCullagh was pulled from the River Nene near his home in Woodford, near Kettering in Northamptonshire, on Tuesday 24 July 2012.

Daniel is pictured right with his dad Gabriel in Cromer, Norfolk, in 2010.

It was a day when several parts of the UK experienced soaring temperatures and many people flocked to rivers and waterfronts to take advantage of the heat wave.

Daniel's family said in a statement released through Northamptonshire Police: "We don't want anyone else to have to go through this terrible experience. We want to bring our son back, but we can't.

"We can only hope that we can help to prevent this from happening again.''

They went on: "Daniel could swim, but wasn't a regular swimmer, even if you are a strong swimmer the currents and dangers of water can cause difficulties.

"If, as a young person, you cannot swim or have any concerns near water at all, please do not take the risk and do not be swayed into doing something you do not want to do.''

They paid tribute to the teenager, who "loved to make people laugh''.

The family said: "Daniel constantly played the clown and was known for his impressions of characters from films, such as King Julien XIII from Madagascar.

"Daniel was also very sensitive and thoughtful with a lovely smile; he was very good at cheering you up when you were down.''

He was a "typical 15-year-old'', his family said, who spent a lot of time with friends and was a mascot for Ipswich Town as a young boy.

Daniel was also close to his younger brother, nine-year-old Jack, and enjoyed spending time with him and his father, especially on their annual crabbing trip to Cromer in Norfolk.

His family thanked emergency services and added: "Daniel had so much potential and we are so sad that he will not be here to fulfil this.

"We would like to thank those people who were at the scene and tried hard to save Daniel. Daniel's loss has hit us all hard: family, friends and the local community.''