TWO young men who worked in Swindon died in the River Avon after one tried to save the other from drowning.

A friend of 20-year-old Samuel Fernandez and 24-year-old Velly Sousa claimed that Velly began to drown after jumping into the water on Thursday afternoon. Sam then jumped in to save him but drowned during the rescue attempt.

Water rescue teams from Avon Fire & Rescue Service pulled the pair from the water and handed them to crews from South Western Ambulance Service, but both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Velly was engaged and due to get married later this year.

The pair worked at a Tesco in Swindon and were described by their friend Luvson D’Costa, 29, as really great guys.

She told the Bristol Post: “All I know is Velley was drowning and Sam went to save him but drowned himself.

“A group of them who work at Tesco went to enjoy a day out, they’ve been working non-stop through the lockdown so wanted to get out for a bit.

“They weren’t drinking or anything, it was just a tragic accident. I can’t believe it’s happened, it’s not sinking in. It doesn’t feel real.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “We were called at 4.12pm by the ambulance service amid concern for people in the water near Toll Bridge Road in Bath.

“A rescue operation was subsequently led by Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

“Two adult casualties were rescued and given into the care of the ambulance service. However, both males were pronounced dead at the scene.

“We are not treating the circumstances around the deaths as suspicious at this time. The deaths will be referred to the coroner.”

Avon Fire & Rescue Service said water rescue teams from Bath and Bedminster fire stations were mobilised at 4.14pm to reports of “several people in the water”.

“Two male casualties have been pulled from the water and handed to ambulance crews,” the fire service said.

“The incident has been handed to police.”