THE mother of Megan Roberts - who drowned in York's River Ouse a year ago today - has spoken of her heartbreak that so many others have since suffered a similar fate.

Jackie Roberts was backing calls by the Royal Life Saving Society UK for every step possible to be taken to prevent further tragedies.

The drowning prevention charity said Megan's death, which happened after she disappeared on a night out with friends last January, had been followed last year by the deaths of 22-year-old Ben Clarkson in the River Foss and 18-year-old soldier Tyler Pearson in the River Ouse.

Meanwhile in Durham, two students had drowned and police were now searching for another student, Euan Coulthard, after he went missing close to the River Wear last week.

Jackie said: “It’s heartbreaking that so many young people have lost their lives in rivers in the past 12 months while enjoying a night out with friends.

“I can’t believe that another family is in the same place as I was this time last year in not knowing where their child is. It is every parents’ worst nightmare and like being in a horror story.

“Although we don’t know what’s happened to Euan, it’s vital we raise awareness about water safety and make sure we do everything we can to make sure our rivers are as safe as possible.

“If more measures had been in place when Megan was alive the chances are she wouldn’t have ended up in the river. Prevention is priceless.”

Jackie revealed she had written earlier this month to City of York Council’s assistant director of housing & community safety, Steve Waddington, to say it appeared that up until Megan’s death, very little had been put in place by the authority to help prevent river deaths.

She asked what the council had done to raise awareness and also queried when a gate might be fitted across the riverside steps where she believed Megan died.

She said Mr Waddington had since met her to discuss her concerns, and she now accepted the council had been working to tackle the dangers, although it could always do more.

Mr Waddington said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the family of Megan Roberts at this very sad anniversary.

"I’ve been able to talk in detail with Jackie Roberts about the work around river safety in York that the council undertakes both directly and as part of our multi-agency work through Safer York Partnership (SYP).

"This has been taking place in the city for many years and has included regular inspection programmes, river-edge maintenance and river safety awareness programme."