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Rescuers in Brazil have recovered the body of a rock guitarist from a local school who drowned with a band-mate he tried to savel.

Timothy Kennelly, 18, died after going to the aid of 21-year-old Leon Villalba, whose body washed up on a beach in Aracaju on Thursday (January 21).

Searchers found Kennelly's body the following day.

Kennelly was a bassist and had recently joined the London-based heavy metal band After Death after leaving Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School on the outskirts of Shepherd's Bush. He has a twin brother.

Drummer Barry O'Connor told the BBC all five band members , who were on tour in the country, went to the deserted beach at about midday on Thursday and he and the other two musicians started "messing around" in the waves.

"The waves started getting heavier and I came out, but Tim and Leon went out further and looked really confident. Tim heard him and turned around and swam toward him. He exerted lots of energy doing that and by the time he got to Leon, he was struggling also."

He said Kennelly had joined the band six months ago but it felt like he had known him for years.

"Tim straight away made a massive impression... he was full of information, loved a laugh and was on cloud nine. He was so much more mature than 18, a great guy all round."

A family friend today paid tribute to the teenager who was on a gap year and due to start a physics degree at York University in September.

Edward Doyle told the Evening Standard that Kennelly's parents Rosemary and Diarmuid had been devastated by the news and had been “hoping against hope” that he would be found alive.

A spokesman for the band's record label, Death Toll Records, confirmed the deaths and said it was "unbelievable" and "so sad".

25 January 2010