River victim’s family support renewed drive to avoid further deaths
THE mother of a young man who drowned in York’s River Ouse has spoken of her sorrow for Megan Roberts’ parents.
Vicki Horrocks has also backed plans by The Press to reinvigorate its Think, Don’t Swim campaign, which was launched after her son Richard’s death in 2011 to raise awareness of the dangers of the city’s rivers.
Meanwhile, Richard’s sister Abbi has called for measures around the city’s rivers to try to prevent further such tragedies.
Megan’s body was found in the Ouse at Acaster Malbis on Sunday, more than a month after the York St John University student went missing following a night out with friends.
Richard Horrocks, a 21-year-old bartender and former York St John University student, died after jumping into the river at the end of his last shift at a city centre bar.
Our campaign included distributing posters and beer mats to city centre pubs and clubs and a film by York-based Flash Frame Productions, featuring interviews with Mrs Horrocks and Abbi and a dramatisation of a ficttional river tragedy.
The Press is now intending to get the message out with a renewed vigour and will be seeking the support of the city’s two universities in trying to make all students fully aware of the dangers.
Mrs Horrocks asked The Press to pass on her “heartfelt sorrow” to Megan’s parents, saying: “This news just makes me so very sad that another family is going through the same as my own. From the beginning of the campaign, that’s what I always hoped to prevent.”
Abbi said: “I was only 18 years old when my brother died, leaving me as an only child. Since then, I have graduated from university, turned 21, moved house, got a full-time job and changed my hair colour thousands of times; all important events in my life that have passed by without my big brother there to see me, congratulate me, and even ridicule me for having grey hair.
“This devastation will never go away and affects every aspect of my life, from the big to the small. I don’t want anyone to experience how this feels.”