A CALENDAR featuring naked York bartenders was launched last night in support of The Press’ Think Don’t Swim campaign.

Profits from the sale of the calendar will help firefighters invest in new safety equipment alongside York’s rivers, to help prevent further drowning tragedies following three deaths so far in 2011.

One of the victims was 21-year-old bartender Richard Horrocks, who died after jumping from a balcony into the Ouse on completing his last shift at a riverside bar.

His death prompted The Press – with the support of Richard’s family – to launch its campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of falling or jumping in the water.

Chloe Bowman, whose partner Fazer Monaghan works as a bartender at Vudu Lounge in Swinegate and was a friend of Richard – known as “Tosh”, came up with the idea of the calendar in his honour.

She said it was a great way of raising awareness and reinforcing the message of campaign in the hope it would prevent another tragedy, but also to bring bartenders together and lift their sprits after the shock of his death.

She said Tosh had been really popular in York, having worked at Bobo Lobo and Revolution, and all the bartenders hung around together and were like one big family. A picture of Richard features on the calendar’s February page.

The launch party, to which fire service staff were invited, was held at Vudu Lounge, where some of the pictures were taken, along with Evil Eye, Bobo Lobos, 1331 and House Of Trembling Madness. However, the cover photo and Christmas picture were taken at York Studios.

Chloe, 26, of Malton Road, thanked Sam Whitton for editing the photos and designing the calendar, which she said would be sold at all the bars involved. She said 500 calendars had been printed and were on sale for £8 at all the bars involved.