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VIDEO: Megan's mum spreads water safety message

VIDEO: Megan's mum spreads water safety message

Published at 6:00am 28th January 2016. (Updated at 10:35am 28th January 2016)

A Wetherby mum has been encouraging university students in York to stay safe near water.

Jackie Roberts tragically lost her 20-year-old daughter Megan when she fell into the River Ouse after a night out with friends in January 2014.

Megan was the first of five people to die in the city's rivers that year.

Since Megan's death, Jackie has supported the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to raise awareness of water safety and is leading the charity's Don't Drink and Drown campaign in York.

It's teamed up with the University of York, York St John University, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and York Rescue Boat to highlight the dangers.

On Wednesday night, Jackie and RLSS UK's Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the area, Aaron Dhanda, joined the University of York Night Safe team to hand out bottles of water and make sure that students were safe around the river.

A CPR lesson is also being delivered to show students what to do in an emergency and give them vital skills to help who people have stopped breathing, are choking or are suffering from a heart attack.

Jackie said: "January is the time when Megan died and is a particularly dangerous time, as students come back to university following the Christmas break. This makes students extremely vulnerable, especially when the rivers tend to be extremely high and the dark and cold make it much easier for accidents to happen.

"Since losing Megan to drowning, I have been actively involved in drowning prevention work with RLSS UK. I fully support the RLSS UK's campaign, Don't Drink and Drown, and hope that awareness events in York will make people aware of how dangerous it is being near water when under the influence of alcohol - let's avoid any more tragedies wherever possible."

Peter Moyes, President of RLSS UK, added: "People die each year after entering the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident. Around a third of all 18 to 21-year-old drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. Drinking near water can be dangerous and a deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.

"At RLSS UK, we work hard to inform and educate people of the dangers and advise the public to never go into water when you have been drinking and always take care and be aware if you are near water.

"When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends."

More information about the campaign at