The family of a 13-year-old boy who was recovered from a lake after a three-day search have been left “heart-broken” by his death.
Schoolboy Ryan Evans disappeared after getting into difficulties at Westport Lake, Stoke-on-Trent, on Monday.
The alarm was raised at about 5pm, after a witness spotted three boys “in distress”.
The other two boys, aged 12 and 13, managed to get to safety, but Ryan, who was a pupil at nearby Haywood Academy, was declared missing, and a full-scale search was launched.
In a statement, released through Staffordshire Police, his family said: “Ryan was our world and was very much loved.
“We are all heart-broken and Ryan will be greatly missed.
“We’d like to thank everyone for their efforts in helping to find Ryan; the diving teams, Staffordshire Police and anyone else who was involved in the search.
“We are so grateful to everyone.
“Your messages and condolences have given us great comfort at this very difficult time.
“We are also overwhelmed by the kind donations and offers of help from everyone.”
The family also addressed the risks of playing and swimming in open water, warning people: “Don’t do it.”
Their statement said: “We just cannot emphasis enough the dangers of swimming in open water, especially where young children are concerned.
“Our message is simple, please don’t do it.”