A HERO teen who reportedly couldn't swim drowned trying to save a pal in difficulty at a reservoir.
Sam Haycock, 16, jumped into Ulley Reservoir near Rotherham, South Yorks, on Friday afternoon.
Pals say Sam didn't hesitate to help his friend – despite knowing he wasn't able to swim.
The teen was part of a group of youngsters cooling off at the beauty spot following their last day at Oakwood High School.
Members of the group went for a dip after leaving classes for the last time.
But when one of the teenagers got into trouble, Sam – a talented judo star – jumped in to help.
Another friend rang 999 as he disappeared beneath the surface.
Specialist teams launched a huge search for Sam.
Divers discovered his body later that night.
Sam's parents Simon and Gaynor, as well as his five older brothers, are being supported by specially-trained officers.
The other boy made it out of the water safely.
Family friend Theresa Glenn said: "There were three boys including Sam,
who jumped in and tried to save his friend.
"It's typical of him. He and his mum would do anything for anyone who needed help.
"Obviously they are absolutely distraught about what has happened but Gaynor is proud of what he tried to do and will treasure that detail for the rest of her life."
Sam told his mum he loved her as he left for his last day of school, Theresa said.
"She told him to be back for 4pm. She didn't know where he was when he
went missing but the police were round very quickly to inform them," she added.
"I have known Sam since he was four years old and he was a cheeky chappie with lots of friends.
"He just wanted to be liked and we will never forget him."
Sam's mum recently had her leg amputated and is struggling bravely with health issues, Theresa said.
"Sam was like his mum. He wouldn't have thought of the danger," she said
"He just saw his friend struggling and tried to help."
Sam's dad Simon Haycock, 51, said: "He was a lovely lad who never
brought us a day of trouble.
"We were very proud of him and it's not really sunk in that he's gone.
"Sam had special needs but he achieved a lot, especially in judo.
"He was British school champion and won tonnes and tonnes of medals.
"He fought in this country and around Europe for the British special
"He's going to be missed by a lot of people."
Friends have paid tribute to Sam on Facebook.
One said: "I can’t even begin to say how heartbreaking this is for all of us.
"Sam was one of the best people I had ever met who did no wrong to anyone, the purest soul."
Another wrote: "This gorgeous boy – I'm beyond heartbroken."
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