A GROUP of Scouts who saw their friend die in an accident while on holiday in the Italian Alps have arrived home.

Elliot Peacock drowned after leaping just two feet into the deep river pool and inhaling the freezing water at the Gran Paradiso National Park last Sunday.

The 39 other youngsters who were on the trip have been reunited with their families, with half flying home while the others returned by coach.

Loading article content

Elliot's parents Scott, 51, and Colette, 53, are still in Italy waiting for court permission to bring their son's body home.

A Scout Association spokesman said: "I can confirm the Scout leaders and young people have now returned home. They have asked that we respect their privacy at this sad time."

Outdoor education provider Acorn Adventure said the Scouts were gorge scrambling, which involves walking up and down a gorge and jumping from a low level into pools, when the accident happened.

Elliot was part of a group of 40 children on the second full day of their adventure trip with Eastwood District Scouts when tragedy struck.

His head teacher at Eastwood High School, Stuart Maxwell, said the school community was "profoundly saddened" by his death.