England

Charity volunteers drown in South Africa

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Two British charity volunteers have drowned while swimming off the coast of South Africa.

Summer Robertson, 21, from Shrewsbury and 19-year-old Alice Barnett from Tring in Hertfordshire, died on Thursday, just days before they were due to return.

The pair were finishing a 10-week placement in the Port Elizabeth area.

They are thought to have been swimming with three others when they got into difficulty.

Paying tribute on Facebook, Summer's mother Sarah said she was feeling "devastated" while dozens of others posted their messages of support for the former Sundorne School and Shrewsbury Sixth Form pupil.

Friend Beth Hemming wrote on Twitter: "My heart goes out to Summer Robertson's family. Really hits home how valuable life is when something so tragic happens to someone you knew."

Alice's father Pete Gallagher wrote on Twitter there were "no words to say how devastated we are to have lost our beloved angel Alice" and that her friends and family had gathered to toast her memory.

Stephen Box, her former head teacher at Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School in Aylesbury, told the Bucks Herald the whole school community had been "hurting since we heard the devastating news that Alice lost her life whilst serving others overseas".

He described the 19-year-old as "gifted and generous".

The two women had been working in schools in South Africa.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was providing consular assistance to the families.

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