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A ‘devastated’ family has paid tribute to a ‘very loving’ 13-year-old boy who drowned yesterday while cooling off in a river with his school friends in Cardiff.
The tragic Aryan Ghoniya was found dead in the River Taff in Whitchurch at around 5:45 p.m. m. Tuesday, in a stretch of water where children often splash around in hot weather.
Police, fire crews and a helicopter were involved in a “thorough search” an hour earlier, when he was reported missing.
His family said today that he was known as the ‘little professor’ because he had a talent for mathematics.
A statement from the family read: “Aryan was our ‘little teacher’, brilliant in math, academically well rounded. He was very caring with a warm personality and loved by all who knew him.
‘There will never be a day that we don’t miss him, and he will remain in our hearts forever.
“The family is devastated by the tragic loss of Aryan, but we are moved by how 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 teen.
Aryan’s family and friends today left balloons, tributes and flowers under a bridge over the River Taff.
One tribute on the scene said, “You never know when the last time you’ll see a place or person will be.” You will always have a place in our hearts.
Another said: ‘You will be sorely missed by all, you never failed to put a smile on our face and you will be in our hearts forever.’
Samantha Camilleri, who lives near the scene of the tragedy, said: “There were sirens going off constantly and I knew immediately that they were looking for someone.” The helicopter landed very close.
‘Everyone knows each other here and it will be a huge shock to the community. Those poor parents too, absolutely heartbreaking.
Police and coastguards received a report of children playing in the River Taff at 4:45 p.m. m. Tuesday and that a child had disappeared.
The police carried out a thorough search, including divers.
Tragic Aryan Ghoniya 13, was found dead in the River Taff, at Whitchurch, at around 5.45pm on Tuesday.
Firefighters, paramedics and a police helicopter were also on the scene.
Aryan was located in the river at around 5:45 p.m. and, despite the efforts of the emergency services, could not be revived.
The joint page of Whitchurch and Tongwynlais Labor councilors shared their own tribute to Aryan.
They said: ‘Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 13-year-old boy who died.’
“It is clear that there was a swift and significant response from the emergency services and we await further details.”
HM Coroner has been informed and an investigation into the circumstances of the incident is ongoing.
Aryan Ghoniya Quick and Facts
- Aryan Ghoniya was found dead in River Taff, at Whitchurch, at 5.45pm Tuesday
- He was said to be ‘brilliant’ at maths and academic all-rounder by family today
- They said tragic teenager was ‘very loving’ and was ‘loved by all who knew him’