LATEST: Boy's body found in South Yorkshire canal

Emergency services mounted a water rescue operation in Rotherham

Emergency services mounted a water rescue operation in Rotherham

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The body of a boy was recovered from a South Yorkshire canal last night after a four hour search.

Emergency services were called to a stretch of the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation Canal near to Retail World, Parkgate, Rotherham, at 7pm following reports that a child had disappeared after entering the water.

Water rescue specialists from South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue searched the canal and recovered a body of a boy at 11pm.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "Following an extensive search of a Rotherham canal yesterday, we can confirm that specialist teams have the recovered the body of an 11-year-old boy.

"Police received a report at around 7pm that a boy had been seen entering the canal, off Stone Row Way, but had disappeared soon after.

"Specialist resources attended the scene, including South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Ambulance Service.

"The body of the 11-year-old was found in the water at around 11pm.

"His family has been informed and are being supported by officers.

"The circumstances are under investigation."

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "We are all devastated by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the boy who died."

Yesterday afternoon, just two hours before the youngster disappeared in the canal, the Rotherham North Local Policing Team urged people not to go swimming in open water.

In a post on Facebook, the team said that it had dealt with 'numerous reports of such incidents' in the first few days of the school holidays.

A spokesman said: "South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire are urging people not to swim in open water sites such as Manvers Lake, Thrybergh Country Park, reservoirs or even local canals.

"Since the start of the annual school holidays PCSOs from Rotherham North LPT have attended numerous reports of such incidents.

"South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue says it has attended 282 water related incidents since 2012. Most were flooding or animal related, but 49 incidents involved rescuing people from open water. People died in three of those incidents.

"Safety officers say children and young people should avoid open water - like rivers and lakes - because they may not always be aware of the danger it poses.

"River flows can be unpredictable and water is often deeper, colder and faster than expected. People should enjoy water safely in swimming pools or safer, specialist facilities instead."