A 17-year-old boy has died on a school trip after he tumbled from an inflatable boat while white water rafting. Matthew Hitchman was with fellow pupils and teachers on a month-long trek across the Andes in Ecuador when he died while white water rafting on Sunday.

All attempts to rescue him on Sunday after he fell into the water “proved impossible”, according his school, The Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. In a statement, headmaster Philip Wayne said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the tragic death of one of our Sixth Form students during a rafting trip in Ecuador as part of a World Challenge expedition.

“Matthew will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He was a caring, friendly and well-liked student who was highly regarded by his teachers and fellow pupils.” During the trip, pupils had also been working on a community project to establish sustainable tourism income in a remote area of Ecuador. World Challenge has suspended white water rafting in all destinations while safety is reviewed.