OVER the past 18 months to two years, I have publicly highlighted the various dangers the River Ouse can pose to people – whether that be people jumping in while drunk, falling in or the dangers the floods can bring.
In light of knowing someone who tragically lost their life to the river and also having had first-hand experience of rescuing people and witnessing drunken acts that pose dangers to the individual and others, I set up the York Rescue Boat charity.
While never claiming to be the ultimate answer, I highlighted that York Rescue Boat’s aims were to have a responsive benefit by means of the rescue/patrol craft itself and a preventative side by means of education and awareness. The education and awareness objectives of York Rescue Boat are key in maximising its capabilities on the river.
I was deeply frustrated this wasn’t picked up a lot earlier by someone higher up in the council with some foresight and acted on.
However, thanks to Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan this issue has been placed at the top of the agenda and I’m optimistic that work is being done to prevent more tragic deaths.
David Benson, Founder/chairman York Rescue Boat, St Paul’s Mews, Holgate, York.