Mother of Megan Roberts takes river-safety drive to Westminster

Jackie Roberts

Jackie Roberts

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE mother of a student who died in the River Ouse has gone to Westminster to promote water-safety education.

University of York student Megan Roberts was 20 when she disappeared after a night out in York with friends in January. Her body was found in the Ouse several weeks later.

Since then, her mother Jackie Roberts has been involved in The Press’ Take Care campaign, and working with Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan on a wider river safety campaign, and this week travelled to Parliament with Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, for the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week.

The campaign runs from today (SAT), until next Sunday (JUN29), and promotes CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions, with MPs asked to pledge to support water safety education to all under-18s in the UK.

Jackie said: “I think education is very important because being a mum, my children have had education on road safety and fire safety in school, but I’ve never known them have anything on water safety on the national curriculum. I think it definitely has to be part of education.

“My daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her and to prevent further tragedies. By getting MPs on board, it encourages local authorities and OFSTED to put it in place. I’m hoping to help however I can.”

Peter Moyes, president of the UK RLSS, said: “Tragically, more than 30 people drowned in just seven weeks during last summer’s heat wave. Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year – one every 20 hours – and thousands more have near-drowning experiences. We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session and can’t thank Julian enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round, especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.”

Mr Sturdy said: “The work the RLSS do in York, especially surrounding the safety of children, is vitally important. I will be writing to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to urge him to make river safety a key part of the national curriculum. I will also be writing out to every school in my constituency with information packs as every child should be able to safely enjoy swimming pools and the seaside this summer.”

Comments (3)

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6:43pm Sat 21 Jun 14

KevinWard59 says...

On reading this I was reminded of break-ins at an employers business a couple of decades ago when I suggested an infra-red beam alarm system from a local alarm specialist.

Prompted by this I searched on google for infrared beam alarm systems and it came up with a couple of companies supplying solar powered automatic dialler which dials up to 6 numbers and other break beam perimeter systems for £200-300 for farms and construction sites and smaller kits from Amazon at £80.

A Rescue Boat is quite expensive and I wondered how much valuable advance warning of someone wandering too close to the rivers would help prevent rather deal with an incident and how much equipment could be put online for the price of a single rescue boat.

Parabeam - a local York Company
Alarms for farms in Kelso
xtralis Hemel Hempstead
On reading this I was reminded of break-ins at an employers business a couple of decades ago when I suggested an infra-red beam alarm system from a local alarm specialist. Prompted by this I searched on google for infrared beam alarm systems and it came up with a couple of companies supplying solar powered automatic dialler which dials up to 6 numbers and other break beam perimeter systems for £200-300 for farms and construction sites and smaller kits from Amazon at £80. A Rescue Boat is quite expensive and I wondered how much valuable advance warning of someone wandering too close to the rivers would help prevent rather deal with an incident and how much equipment could be put online for the price of a single rescue boat. Parabeam - a local York Company Alarms for farms in Kelso xtralis Hemel Hempstead KevinWard59
  • Score: 1

11:47pm Sat 21 Jun 14

eeoodares says...

KevinWard59 wrote:
On reading this I was reminded of break-ins at an employers business a couple of decades ago when I suggested an infra-red beam alarm system from a local alarm specialist.

Prompted by this I searched on google for infrared beam alarm systems and it came up with a couple of companies supplying solar powered automatic dialler which dials up to 6 numbers and other break beam perimeter systems for £200-300 for farms and construction sites and smaller kits from Amazon at £80.

A Rescue Boat is quite expensive and I wondered how much valuable advance warning of someone wandering too close to the rivers would help prevent rather deal with an incident and how much equipment could be put online for the price of a single rescue boat.

Parabeam - a local York Company
Alarms for farms in Kelso
xtralis Hemel Hempstead
Sweet idea, but who would come out every time it is triggered by fishermen, Foxes, people walking their dogs, making their way back from the pub?

Education is the only way, I swam in it as a kid, it is reasonably safe providing you understand the dangers.

It is shallow...so do not dive in, when in flood it is super fast moving, the shallows have glass and bikes etc submerged, do not try to swim 'across the river' it is cold and you could cramp, it is much much cleaner now than 20/30 years ago but there is still a lot of 'yuk' in there, etc...

We all did it for years, but we were kids and were not drunk, still had to 'thaw out' once on the pylons at Scarborough bridge....bloomin freezing!
[quote][p][bold]KevinWard59[/bold] wrote: On reading this I was reminded of break-ins at an employers business a couple of decades ago when I suggested an infra-red beam alarm system from a local alarm specialist. Prompted by this I searched on google for infrared beam alarm systems and it came up with a couple of companies supplying solar powered automatic dialler which dials up to 6 numbers and other break beam perimeter systems for £200-300 for farms and construction sites and smaller kits from Amazon at £80. A Rescue Boat is quite expensive and I wondered how much valuable advance warning of someone wandering too close to the rivers would help prevent rather deal with an incident and how much equipment could be put online for the price of a single rescue boat. Parabeam - a local York Company Alarms for farms in Kelso xtralis Hemel Hempstead[/p][/quote]Sweet idea, but who would come out every time it is triggered by fishermen, Foxes, people walking their dogs, making their way back from the pub? Education is the only way, I swam in it as a kid, it is reasonably safe providing you understand the dangers. It is shallow...so do not dive in, when in flood it is super fast moving, the shallows have glass and bikes etc submerged, do not try to swim 'across the river' it is cold and you could cramp, it is much much cleaner now than 20/30 years ago but there is still a lot of 'yuk' in there, etc... We all did it for years, but we were kids and were not drunk, still had to 'thaw out' once on the pylons at Scarborough bridge....bloomin freezing! eeoodares
  • Score: 3

9:44am Sun 22 Jun 14

anistasia says...

I know this comment may sound odd but isn't it worth having either a total ban on swimming in the river and if caught charged. or where people go swimming a lot during summer holidays from schol such as Clifton kings or sandy bank in town some one there to keep an eye on these people.I know spotters can't be everywhere but every little helps.but always in the end your responsible for your own safety.
I know this comment may sound odd but isn't it worth having either a total ban on swimming in the river and if caught charged. or where people go swimming a lot during summer holidays from schol such as Clifton kings or sandy bank in town some one there to keep an eye on these people.I know spotters can't be everywhere but every little helps.but always in the end your responsible for your own safety. anistasia
  • Score: 0

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