Mother of Megan Roberts wants to help prevent further river tragedies

York Press: Megan and Jackie Roberts Megan and Jackie Roberts

THE mother of York student Megan Roberts who died in the River Ouse says she wants to help prevent further tragedies as a tribute to her daughter's memory.

Jackie Roberts has already added her support to The Press Take Care campaign, to raise awareness of river safety and try to prevent anyone else having to experience the heartache of losing a loved one to York's rivers.

She also said she would be prepared to speak in bars and clubs to urge people to listen to warnings of the dangers near open water.

"I want my daughter's memory to stay out there by doing something positive to prevent this happening again," she said.

Jackie who lives in Wetherby told The Press she was "in pieces" after losing Megan, and was shocked that another teenager had gone into the river.

She said: "I can't believe it's happened again. The river is just as dangerous as a road."

Regardless of what research may suggest, she said there were no rules which dictated who was likely to be at risk near open water.

"It tends to be more boys than girls that go in rivers as a rule. Megan highlights the fact that these things can happen so easily.

"We can tell young people until we're blue in the face but we're not going to stop them going out drinking because they are having fun and why shouldn't they?"

Megan left Popworld in George Hudson Street in York in the early hours of January 23 and is believed to have fallen into the Ouse near Tanner’s Moat.

The 20-year-old’s body was found in the Ouse at Acaster Malbis on March 2, six weeks after she disappeared on a night out with friends.

"The alcohol issue needs to be worked on," said Jackie. "Education is very, very important but I think York and any other city that has major waterways going through needs to look at physical barriers where there's a higher risk but it probably still won't prevent it happening."

Jackie said the loss of Megan was absolutely devastating, and life for her children Amy, 17, and Ben, 14, would never be the same again.

She said: "We're trying to keep sane and busy and moving forward. The fact she was missing for all those weeks is every parent's worst nightmare.

"As long as I'm keeping it together they are carrying on. Amy has always been a very, very happy soul, she's got that nature but she's also very sensitive. As a mum, I'm keeping my eye on it."

Jackie said she was trying to stay strong, and was doing her best to hide "the fact I'm absolutely in pieces underneath".

She said any campaign should be hard-hitting, and she would be prepared to speak to people in bars and clubs to urge people to listen to warnings.

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