A HERO teenager drowned saving his younger brother when he got into trouble as they swam at a beauty spot.
The lads were enjoying a day out on the River Tees in Darlington, County Durham, when the younger boy went under the water.
His brave 15-year-old brother rushed to save him but he then vanished beneath the surface.
Emergency services raced to the scene and began a search of the river but were unable to find the lad.
Tragically his body was discovered in the water a few hours later. His brother was not seriously injured.
The deceased was named locally yesterday as Anas by pals who paid tribute online and laid flowers at the scene.
It is thought he came to the UK with his family a few years ago to escape the horrors of the civil war in Syria.
Refugee support workers were yesterday comforting the family alongside trained police officers.
The tragedy happened at Broken Scar on the River Tees at 5pm on Monday.
On Facebook, Charly Hewitson said: “What a brave and courageous young boy, an awful way to go but saved his brother’s life. Thinking of all his family and friends today.”
And Ella Boo Barton added: “RIP Anas, died a hero.”
Fiona Jenkinson said: “Poor lad. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP Anas.”
Fran Wood, Chair of Darlington Assistance for Refugees, said the charity was supporting the boy’s devastated family.
She said: “It’s an absolute tragedy. It’s not the first time the family have seen tragedy.
“The key worker who has been working with the family has done an amazing job.
“She is helping with many issues. There is a lot to organise. The burial needs to be sorted out.
“The boy who died was not the only person in the water. It’s just happened so quickly. They are in a state of absolute shock.”
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: “Formal identification has yet to take place, but it is believed to be the body of a 15-year-old boy.
“His family have been informed and are being supported and our thoughts are with them at this tragic time.
“His death is not being treated as suspicious.”