A LIFEBELT is to be provided on a York riverside where a young man drowned last year, after an inquest heard that efforts to rescue him were hampered by the absence of any ring.

Liam Davey, 25, of York, died after going into the River Foss from a public riverside area at the back of the BT telephone exchange in Stonebow.

The inquest was told that when people saw him in the water, they searched the area for a lifebelt to throw to him but couldn't find one.

A passerby, Michael Carr, then jumped in and dived repeatedly to the bottom of the river, where he eventually found Liam lying. He brought him to the surface and attempted to revive him, but he died in hospital the next day from multiple organ failure caused by drowning.

Liam's father Nigel said after the inquest that the site was open to the public and he thought the landowner had a responsibility to ensure such equipment was available.

The Press asked BT, which owns part of the riverside area, why a lifebelt was not provided when Liam drowned or in the nine months since the tragedy, and also asked whether one would now be provided.

A BT spokesman said it was "deeply saddened" that the tragedy had occurred close to one of its sites and it extended its condolences to Liam’s family and friends.

It said: "We understand that York Council currently has around 15 life belts along the River Foss and is reviewing the provision of these devices throughout the city following this and other similar incidents.

“We have also taken the decision to install a lifebelt on the footpath alongside our building, which we hope will help to prevent similar tragedies from happening in future.”

The inquest had also heard that Liam had been assaulted the night before the tragedy.