Brother of Owen Jenkins to lead 500-strong motorbike ride in his memory

OWEN JENKINS
Owen Jenkins.

The brother of 12-year-old Owen Jenkins will lead a charity motor bike ride to the spot where he died.

Owen died on Monday after he was seen going under the water near Beeston Marina. His body was recovered by emergency crews four hours later.

He is said to have entered the water to save a friend who had gone into the river.

The local community has pulled together since the tragedy and players and coaches at Nottingham Casuals rugby club, where Owen had played for more than six years, held a vigil in his memory on Tuesday.

People also lit candles at the Rylands Methodist Church, Victory Road, Beeston.

And a Nottinghamshire bikers’ group, Nottz Bikerz has already organised a ride to the weir, led by Owen’s brother Jordan, 19, on Sunday, July 23.

Members of the group say they will hold a minute’s silence and collect donations for Owen’s family on the day.

A spokesman for the group, a close friend of the Jenkins family, who did not want to be named, said: “He [Owen] was like a cousin to me. If anyone knew him, he was a kind, loving and respectable young man.

“It is really important to get the community together to show the family that we love him and care for him.”

“Whatever is raised will help the parents, whether it’s for the funeral costs or for them to have time off work. As far as I’m concerned I’d like to raise as much as possible.”

He added Nottz Bikerz often get 200 riders at its charity events, but are already expecting 400-500 at the July 23 event.

Bikers will ride from the Beekeeper Pub, Meadow Lane, to Chilwell School, Queens Road West, where Owen studied, at 11.30am.

“Whatever is raised will help the parents, whether it’s for the funeral costs or for them to have time off work. As far as I’m concerned I’d like to raise as much as possible,” he added.

Video: Volunteer John Richardson flew a drone to help the search for Owen Jenkins.

Broxtowe Borough Council said it held an “urgent meeting” with Notts Police, the Canal and River Trust and other local authorities yesterday to “review safety in the area”.

The council did not say what was discussed, or if any conclusions had been reached, but a spokesman said a further meeting will be arranged “as soon as possible”.

In a joint statement issued from Owen’s parents last night, Nicola and Gary Jenkins said: “Our little boy, our English rose, our champion will be missed and never forgotten.

Fire crews searching the River Trent after Owen Disappeared.

“We wish to thank all of the emergency services, who have been amazing, and all of the people that helped to look for Owen.

“Thank you for your support.”

Owen’s great aunt Liz Ryan said: “He went in the water to save a girl and help her get out, and he couldn’t swim much himself.

“We don’t know the full story but all we know is that he is a hero.”

Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, councillor Richard Jackson, said: “The council is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Owen Jenkins and our heartfelt sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

A crowdfunding page set up to raise £3,000 for Owen’s family raised £8,226 within 24 hours.

And Notts Fire and Rescue Service warned people who live or play near water, or others planning a holiday by the sea, to be “extremely careful”.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events yesterday evening that lead to the devastating loss of 12-year-old Owen Jenkins pic.twitter.com/ickjvvONnm

In a video posted on Twitter, Bryn Coleman, the service’s head of prevention, said: “These tragic events bring home how powerful and unpredictable our rivers and indeed our water ways can be.

“As we approach the school summer holidays, we would urge anyone who lives, plays or is planning a holiday near the water to be extremely careful. Never go into the water voluntarily.

“If you see somebody in difficulty, dial 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service. If you live in coastal areas, ask for the coast guard. These events have had an effect on the family and local community. Once again our hearts and thoughts go out to all involved.”

Nottingham film director Shane Meadows also joined the tributes.

He tweeted: “My thoughts are with the family & friends of local Beeston lad Owen Jenkins who lost his life heroically saving a friend. RIP. Shane.”

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