THE mother of a man who drowned in York's River Ouse last weekend has thrown her backing behind an appeal to buy a new rescue boat for the city.

Sharon Scott spoke out in support of the £45,000 fundraising drive as she paid a fresh tribute to her son, Steven O'Neill, 29, of The Wirral, who was the fourth person to die in York's rivers in a fortnight when he drowned early on Saturday during a night out.

The Press reported yesterday that the parents of the third person to die, Sonny Ferry, 19, from Rutland, have decided to launch an appeal to buy a new craft for York Rescue Boat, which will feature high tech new kit such as 3D sonar and radio communications equipment.

Sonny's parents, Kate and Stephen, said they wanted to prevent more parents going through their traumatic loss - and Ms Scott said she echoed that sentiment and would be "honoured" to back the appeal.

"I would support anything that can improve safety on the rivers and stop other parents suffering from the loss of their children," she said.

"My boy was the fourth drowning in two weeks at a similar spot.

"He was in the city on a first-time visit with his brother, who is a serving soldier and also a water safety expert in his own right.

"He himself has found great failings in what should have been done to reduce the risk of my son dying."

She said Steven had been a building site groundsman who was also involved in charity fundraising for the K Woods foundation, which supported people with dementia.

"He was a beautiful selfless man with a heart of gold," she said.

"We are, as a family, distraught at the loss of our precious son, brother and uncle."

City of York Council has revealed it is looking into heat-sensitive cameras in a bid to prevent further river deaths.