Page last updated at 19:26 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 20:26 UK

Boy, 6, dies on Beaver Scout trip

Alan Lock
Alan Lock, from Sudbury, was pulled from the River Stour

A six-year-old boy on a trip with a Beaver Scout group has died after falling into a river in Suffolk.

Alan Lock, from Sudbury, was pulled from the River Stour near Ballingdon Bridge in the town on Tuesday evening.

A police spokeswoman said he was taken to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds but later died. His death is being treated as "unexplained".

She said: "Our sympathies are with the boy's family as police now investigate the exact circumstances of his death."

'Perfect little boy'

A woman, who said she was the best friend of Alan's mother, said: "He was everything to me. Like another son.

"I just love him and I miss him. He was perfect. He was a perfect little boy. Quiet, caring, loving, kind, considerate.

"I just can't believe it's happened."

Alan was on a trip with the 1st Acton and Waldingfield Scout Group.

The youngster was part of a group of Beavers, aged between six and eight, who were taking part in a supervised walk along the riverbank.

It is believed there were between 15 and 20 children and adults in the party.

A friend of the family said the six-year-old was like a second son to her

Under normal Scouting rules there would be four or five adults accompanying a group of such a size.

The Scout Association spokesman said: "They have done this walk a few times before along the side of the riverbank - it is something they do of a summer evening.

"Unfortunately the young person fell in and drowned.

"The question of how the young person ended up in the water is part of an investigation by the local authorities and by us."

A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said paramedics were called to reports of a drowning in Sudbury just before 1930 BST.

She said two ambulances attended the scene and found a boy who was not breathing.

Police and a community first responder were already on the scene and he was taken to hospital.

The police spokeswoman said support was being offered to the boy's family.



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