A ‘devastated’ family have paid tribute to a ‘very loving’ 13-year-old boy who drowned while cooling off in a river with his school friends in Cardiff yesterday.
Tragic Aryan Ghoniya was found dead in the River Taff, at Whitchurch, at around 5.45pm on Tuesday, on a stretch of water where children often splash around in during hot weather.
Police, fire crews and a helicopter were roped into an ‘extensive search’ an hour earlier, when he had been reported missing.
His family today said he was known as the ‘little professor’ because he was talented at maths.
A family statement said: ‘Aryan was our ‘Little Professor’, brilliant at Maths, an all-rounder academically. He was very loving with a warm personality and loved by all who knew him.
‘There will never be a day when we will not miss him, and he will remain in our hearts forever.
Tragic Aryan Ghoniya was found dead in the River Taff, at Whitchurch, at around 5.45pm on Tuesday, on a stretch of water where children often splash around in during hot weather. (Pictured: Emergency services at the scene)
‘The family is devastated by the tragic loss of Aryan but we are touched by the way the community, including the police and emergency services have been trying to support us.’
The family also thanked the accident and emergency department at the University hospital of Wales, where doctors tried in vain to save the popular teenager.
Balloons, tributes and flowers were left by Aryan’s family and friends beneath a bridge over the River Taff today.
One tribute at the scene read: ‘You never know the last time you’ll see a place or a person. You’ll always have a place in our hearts.’
The tragic teenager had gone missing at around 4.45pm near Forest Farm Road (pictured) in Whitechurch, South Wales Police said
Another said: ‘You will be missed so much by everyone, you never failed to put a smile on our face and you will be in our hearts forever.’
Samantha Camilleri, who lives close to the scene of the tragedy, said: ‘There were sirens going off constantly and I’d realised immediately that they were looking for someone. The helicopter came down very close.
‘Everyone knows one other here and it will come as a huge shock to the community. Those poor parents too – absolutely heart-breaking.’
Police and Coastguards were called to a report of children playing in the River Taff at 4.45pm on Tuesday and that one boy had gone missing.
An extensive search was carried out by police including divers.
Fire officers, paramedics and a police helicopter were also at the scene.
HM Coroner has been informed and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident is ongoing, South Wales Police said (Stock image)
Aryan was located in the river at around 5.45pm and, despite the efforts of the emergency services, he was unable to be revived.
Whitchurch and Tongwynlais’ joint Labour councillors page shared its own tribute to Aryan. They said: ‘Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 13-year-old boy who has died.’
‘It is clear there was a rapid and significant response from emergency services and we await further detail.’
HM Coroner has been informed and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident is ongoing.