AN inquest has been opened into the death of 18-year-old soldier Tyler Pearson, whose body was found in the River Ouse in York.
York coroner Donald Coverdale told the hearing at York County Court yesterday that Signaller Pearson of 2nd Signal Regiment, based at York’s Imphal Barracks, entered the river at King’s Staith in the early hours of April 3.
He had been attempting to swim across to the other side, but then got into difficulties and disappeared from sight.
His body was recovered from the river on April 17, after being found close to Terry Avenue near Skeldergate Bridge, about 1,500ft (480 metres) downstream from where he was last seen.
Mr Coverdale said a post mortem showed the cause of death as drowning and adjourned the case to September 3.
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hargreaves, commanding officer of 2nd Signal Regiment, said: “While Signaller Pearson was only with the regiment a short time, he showed himself to be the epitome of a professional soldier - intelligent, keen to learn and hard-working.
“He had made a great start in the Royal Corps of Signals with the prospects of a fine career ahead of him, and his loss will be sorely felt by all.”
The 18-year-old was the third young person to have died in the city’s rivers this year.
In January, student Megan Roberts fell into the river after becoming separated from friends on a night out. Her body was found in the Ouse at Acaster Malbis on March 2.
On the weekend that she was found, former York St John University student Ben Clarkson, 22, went missing.
In the aftermath of the tragedies, The Press has relaunched its river safety campaign under the banner Take Care, seeking to raise awareness of the dangers of going in the river.
University of York students have also set up a new Streetsafe project to work with students on nights out in the city, to try to prevent further tragedies.
City of York Council and North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner also held a river safety summit, to look at ways of improving safety and raising awareness of the risks.