Family left ‘devastated’ after body of teenage son found in the River Tees
The family of 15-year-old Anas El-Rafai have spoken of their devastation after his body was found in the River Tees.
The family of the teenager say they are “devastated” by the death of their “fit and healthy” son after he got into difficulty in the River Tees.
Anas El-Rafai entered the River Tees at Broken Scar in Darlington where he was spotted in difficulty due to the strong currents.
The alarm was raised at around 5pm on Monday, August 17, with the emergency services and a major search operation began.
Search teams sadly found his body just before midnight.
In a statement issued through Durham Police, his parents said that the teenager was popular with his classmates and that he will be missed.
They said: “Anas was a fit and healthy young man. He was very popular at school. We are devastated and miss him so much.”
The operation to locate the teenager was carried out by Durham Police, who were aided in the search by Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, the North East Ambulance Service, Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team and underwater search teams.
Members of the public were told to stay clear of the area on Monday evening while teams worked to locate the missing 15-year-old.
Police have confirmed that Anas, who is from Darlington, was formally identified on Tuesday, August 18.
Officers say that his death is not being treated as suspicious and that a file will now be prepared for the coroner.