THE parents of a young man who drowned in York’s River Ouse have appealed for action to help prevent another tragic death over the coming Easter holiday.

Kate and Stephen Ferry say their 19-year-old son Sonny - whose body was recovered from the river near Blue Bridge last Sunday - fell in the water during a night out in York on the Friday evening while staying in the city to work as a labourer.

“Sonny was beautiful in every way, inside and out,” said Kate, from Rutland, who believes Sonny slipped and fell in the river near Blue Bridge after leaving  a nightclub and becoming lost in the city. “He was our sunshine.”

She said she wanted to warn everyone of the dangers presented by the river, particularly as warm weather was forecast over the Easter period.

“The Bank Holiday is fast approaching, which means that so many more people are potentially in harms’ way alongside our rivers and waterways,” she said in an email to York Central MP Rachael Maskell, who has called for a review of river safety in the wake of three recent fatalities in eight days.

“It would be unbearable for my family and I to hear of another avoidable death, without having first done all in our power to prevent it.

“We believe that the death of our child, and the deaths of so many more dearly loved and precious individuals in the rivers of York and indeed across the country is a national disgrace, and therefore demands immediate action.

“Hopefully together we can do our very best to prevent more tragedies.”

She said she would like City of York Council to look at possible measures to improve safety, including fencing off sections of the riverside and installing chains on the banks which people might be able to grab hold of after falling in.

She said her husband had walked along the river bank before Sonny’s body was recovered and had been ‘horrified’ to see how easy it was to fall in and how hard it would be to get out.

She suggested access to riverside paths could even be blocked at night.

She said her message to the authority was: “At Notre Dame, within hours billionaires were pledging hundreds of millions to rebuild. Don’t our precious children and our most vulnerable deserve so much more than your sincerest sympathies?”

Ms Maskell said she had agreed to raise the family’s safety pleas with relevant organisations, including the council, Environment Agency, a Government Minister and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Water Safety and Drowning Prevention.

The York River Safety Group, which includes the council, universities, York Rescue Boat, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire Service, said additional safety measures had been put in place in recent years by the council including lifebelts, installing fencing at particularly dangerous areas and repairing riverside steps.

A report commissioned from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in 2014 had also identified where safety could be further improved,and the presence of York Rescue Boat and vigilance of door staff had also helped prevent potential fatalities.