INQUESTS into the tragic deaths of two young best friends who had been playing in the River Eden heard from the man who risked his life to save one of the group.

The coroner has called for him to be given a bravery award.

Two inquests were held in Cockermouth Coroners' Court on Tuesday.

Lewis Kirkpatrick, 15, from Carlisle, died on May 26. Jaden Doyle, 14, from Carlisle, died on June 15, at Jigsaw Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice.

The much-loved youngsters were both pupils at Richard Rose Central Academy.

They had gone to the river one warm sunny day after school with two other friends.

Coroner Nicholas Shaw heard a statement from Luke Marwood, who had been enjoying a riverside picnic nearby with his daughters and partner.

They had been aware of the boys "playing happily" further down the river, off Warwick Road. As they set off home the couple heard cries for help.

Mr Marwood ran down to the bank and could see three of the four boys were submerged.

"They were splashing around and flailing," he said.

Initially he thought they were messing around.

"Then I realised it was serious and waded in. They had been moved 20ft down river by the current, I started swimming towards them."

News and Star: Emergency services at the scene following the incidentEmergency services at the scene following the incident (Image: NQ Staff)

He grabbed one boy (Jaden) who was submerged, another boy who was gasping for air grabbed him.

"We were starting to get dragged, I was completely submerged, trying to hold the boys. I could see the other boy being taken away by the current," said Mr Marwood.

"I could feel the current dragging me"

He shouted to one boy "to let go of my neck".

"He released his grip and I could swim better. In the panic the other boy got dragged away from me by the water.

"I remember thinking I was going to drown in front of my daughters and partner."

Mr Marwood was able to take the boy who had been holding on to him to safety.

His partner, Ciara Smith, had rung the police, who arrived shortly after.

Dr Shaw said: "Luke's statement is very moving, he thought he was going to go under as well.

"It was a very brave act to try and rescue the boys. I'm sure one of them owes his life to Mr Marwood."

He called for recognition of his life-saving efforts.

"I regard Luke's actions as very brave. I propose to write to the secretary of the Royal Humane Society, bring this to his attention.

"If there's a medal, I think he deserves one."

The inquest heard that a police officer (PC Hudson) went into the water and pulled out Jaden, who was unconscious. He was airlifted to Newcastle's RVI.

"They did absolutely everything but he had sustained brain damage," said Dr Shaw.

Lewis's body was found the following day by a police dive team following an extensive search.

News and Star: Search teams on the River Eden.Search teams on the River Eden. (Image: Newsquest)

Dr Shaw heard tributes to the popular boys.

Jaden's mother, Melanie, said: "Jaden and Lewis were the best of friends. They had many trips out with each other's families. They grew up together and passed away together."

Lewis was the youngest of three children. Mum Nichola said: "He enjoyed time with his family, and particularly being outdoors and nature.

"We enjoyed walks and camping trips. He is very much missed by everyone that knew him."

Jaden's mum, Melanie, said: "We were very close. He was a very caring boy with a great heart. He was always adventurous and had lots of close friends."

Lewis's father, Paul, thanked everyone involved with the rescues "for their bravery".

Dr Shaw concluded that both deaths were a result of misadventure.

"They were having an adventure, it went wrong," he said.

"This is a desperately sad story. It was a Friday, school was out for the weekend, the weather was particularly warm and sunny.

"These four boys have gone to the river to cool off. I know we need to be very careful about water safety but this is what boys do.

"The river water is cold, it flows quickly and has currents. There have been other deaths in the River Eden.

"I do not think one can criticise them for a moment. They got a bit far out and got into difficulties, the current took them."