Birmingham & Black Country

Canal death girl Sara Rylance 'tried to save friend'

Sara Rylance and Fayz Uddin
Image caption The friends were confirmed dead at hospital

The family of one of the teenagers who died after falling into a Smethwick canal said their daughter entered the water to try to save her friend.

Sara Rylance and Fayz Uddin, 18, were pulled unconscious from Smethwick Locks in the West Midlands on 26 October.

In a statement released by police Sara's parents and sister said they understood the 17-year-old had entered the water to save Mr Uddin.

Police said on Thursday they believe it was a "tragic accident".

The family's statement said: "We are very proud of Sara for being so brave in risking her life to save another.

"She will be sadly missed by family and friends."

'Extremely sad'

Detectives from West Midlands Police said the investigation taking place on behalf of the coroner was coming to a close.

Det Sgt Andy Robinson, from Sandwell Police, said: "This is an extremely sad and tragic accident where two young lives have been lost.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and our thoughts and sympathies remain with both families at this very difficult time."

On Thursday, Mr Uddin's uncle, Nasir, said he was a "nice, caring young man".

The teenager studied business and IT at Halesowen College last year.

Fire and ambulance crews were called to the towpath, near Brasshouse Lane in Smethwick, at about 19:20 BST on 26 October.

Firefighters recovered the pair who were taken to hospital but pronounced dead after resuscitation attempts.

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