Tributes have poured in on social media for 17-year-old Matthew Hitchman, who tragically died this week after falling from a water raft while on a school trip in Ecuador.

The Royal Grammar School pupil fell from an inflatable white water raft on Sunday, three weeks in to the month-long expedition.

The group had just completed a trek to the Northern Andes when disaster struck.

Posts have poured in on social media paying tribute to the teenager and offering condolences to his family.

Commenting on Facebook, Heather Stanley said: “This is devastating, it's just any parents worst nightmare. My thoughts are with his family, friends and school.”

Vicky Reed posted: “Heartbreaking doesn't come close my thoughts are with his family.”

Joanna Sharif-Crawley added: “Can't believe this has happened to one of our RGS boys. Thinking of his family”.

Head boy at Holmer Green Senior School, Matthew Hobbs, also paid tribute to the sixth-former on behalf of his school.

He said: “I didn't know Matthew personally, but being the same age in another local school and having friends who went on a similar trip last week brings home how tragic it is.

“On behalf of everyone at Holmer Green Senior School, I send my greatest condolences to Matthew's family and friends at RGS at this tragic time, he will be in our thoughts and prayers.”

The RGS pupils have since returned home and headmaster, Philip Wayne, said the school is now focused on supporting staff and students following the tragedy.

An investigation into the incident is already underway, according to trek organisers, World Challenge.