Schoolboy in drowning horror named

General views of Copull, Yarrow Park, Birkacre Road.''Robert Kelly.''CHORLEY
General views of Copull, Yarrow Park, Birkacre Road.''Robert Kelly.''CHORLEY
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A schoolboy who drowned at a Chorley reservoir has been named.

Thomas Barton, 15, was at Birkacre Brow at Yarrow Valley Park in Coppull at around 7.40pm on Sunday night with friends when he got into difficulties in the water.

A rescue operation was launched involving police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue, Northwest Ambulance Service, Mountain Rescue and the park rangers.

His body was recovered by police divers around four hours later.

Thomas was a pupil at Holy Cross High School.

Det Insp Jo Keay of Chorley police said: “Despite the best efforts of all the people involved in the rescue operation, sadly, a young boy has lost his life and it goes to illustrate the dangers of swimming in open water.

“This absolutely tragic accident and our thoughts are with Thomas’ family at this incredibly sad time.”

Distraught friends of the youngster were at the scene late into the night and were comforted by representatives from his school.

The mother of one of the friends said he had been out with pals and they had all jumped into the water.

She said: “Four of them came back up and he didn’t. Two of the lads jumped in to try and find him and save him, but they could not pull him up. By the time the fire brigade and paramedics got there the divers had to go in, and they have only just found him.”

Big Lodge Water was created on land previously used for bleaching, Calico printing, dyeing and mining at Birkacre.