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Life-saving gesture on anniversary of Richard’s river death
FRIENDS and colleagues of a York bartender who drowned a year ago today have marked the anniversary by helping to save other people’s lives.
A calendar featuring naked staff from several city centre bars was launched last autumn in support of The Press’ Think Don’t Swim campaign, following the death of 21-year-old Richard Horrocks, who drowned after leaping from a balcony into the Ouse on completing his last shift at a riverside bar.
The calendar raised £1,124, which has now been presented to Paul Bennett, station officer at York Fire Station, to buy an underwater camera.
He said the camera would be attached to the end of a telescopic pole which could extend to five metres and feed images to firefighters on the surface.
This could assist them in locating people in the river just after they had gone under the surface.
He said people could remain alive for several minutes in such circumstances, and while firefighters were not equipped to dive under water, they could use equipment to hook them and bring them to the surface. “It could save a life,” he said.
Chloe Bowman, whose partner Fazer Monaghan was a friend of Richard, came up with the idea of the calendar in his honour.
She wanted to support The Press campaign’s aims of raising awareness of the dangers of the rivers, in the hope it would prevent another tragedy.
She said during the cheque presentation she was delighted that the money raised would be used to buy such a useful piece of equipment, which could help save other people’s lives in future.
The Think Don’t Swim campaign included posters and beer mats which were distributed to city centre pubs and clubs.
A film, made by York company Flash Frame Productions, featured harrowing interviews with Richard’s sister Abbi and mother Vicki and a fictional dramatisation about a young man who drowns after going skinny dipping.
Abbi, who attended the cheque presentation, said she hoped the campaign had succeeded over the past year in helping to prevent other people drowning.