UK News 'Rising star' teacher drowns while swimming in river

04:55  02 june  2020
04:55  02 june  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Lewis Howlett died while swimming with friends in the River Aire in Kirkstall at the weekend. A young teacher described by his school as "an absolute rising star " has died while swimming in a river .

Another seasonal reminder of how dangerous rivers in the province can be right now with water levels rising . After the drowning death of a 22-year-old man in the Vedder River on Monday.

a person posing for the camera: Lewis Howlett was swimming with friends in Leeds when he got into difficulty © Other Lewis Howlett was swimming with friends in Leeds when he got into difficulty A young teacher has died while swimming in a river in Leeds, prompting a police warning about the dangers of open water.

Lewis Howlett, 25, drowned while swimming in the River Aire in Leeds on Saturday, West Yorkshire Police said.

Officers were called just after 8.30pm by a group of his friends who said he had disappeared as he swam through the Kirkstall area of the city.

Emergency services searched the water and his body was found in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Mr Howlett was an English teacher at The Farnley Academy in Leeds and described by its principal Chris Stokes as an "absolute rising star".

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Mr Stokes said: "Lewis's ability to teach English was just astonishing. Having personally witnessed him teach on a number of occasions he sought every opportunity to bring the subject to life.

"Whilst standing in Lewis's classroom this morning, admiring his wall of thank-you cards from students, it is so abundantly clear that Lewis had so much more to give and, had he had the opportunity, would have gone on to achieve great things for our school and the wider teaching profession."

His family paid tribute to him in a statement, which read: "We are devastated by the sudden loss of our son Lewis.

"He was loved by all who knew him and our lives will never be the same without him."

Mr Howlett's death came hours after a 12-year-old girl was taken to hospital after getting into difficulty while swimming at Ardsley Reservoir in Leeds.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle said his force was called to a number of similar incidents over the weekend with groups swimming in rivers and reservoirs amid soaring temperatures.

He said: "Although we are still working to establish the full circumstances of this incident to assist the coroner, Lewis Howlett's death does appear to starkly illustrate the dangers of swimming in open water.

"We hope that people will recognise the risks and the tragic consequences that can occur and avoid swimming in open water, no matter how tempting it might be in the hot weather."

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