Mother whose daughter drowned speaks out in support of the charity’s message on first anniversary of her death.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity, has called for action after six young people disappeared near two rivers in just 12 months.

The shocking statistic emerged as police continue their search for Durham University law student Euan Coulthard who went missing close to the River Wear last Wednesday (January 14).

The 19-year-old, from Nottinghamshire, had been out celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday.

Two other Durham students, 19-year-old Luke Pearce and 20-year-old Sope Peters, have drowned in the River Wear in the past year following nights out.

Three young people have also lost their lives in similar tragedies in York in the last 12 months.

York St. John University student Megan Roberts died after falling into the River Ouse after drinking with university friends on January 23.

Days later 22-year-old guitar salesman Ben Clarkson drowned after falling into the River Foss.

Eighteen-year-old soldier, Tyler Pearson’s body was pulled from the River Ouse after a night out in the city on April 2.

RLSS UK said every step possible must be taken to prevent further tragedies.

Its ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ campaign warns drinkers, especially students, to be aware of the dangers of consuming alcohol near water.

RLSS UK’s Director of Volunteers and Community Education, Adrian Lole, said: “The number of young people who have drowned after drinking near rivers in the past year is truly shocking.

“It is a terrible waste of young lives and action needs to be taken.

“Steps can be made to improve river safety and we have worked with a number of local authorities to introduce measures to reduce the dangers.

“We are also working hard to spread the message of our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign which highlights the risks of drinking near open water and advises people how to stay safe.

“For instance, by making sure they avoid walking home along a canal or river after a night out drinking.”

RLSS UK’s work is backed by Megan Roberts’ mother Jackie who has worked tirelessly with the charity to prevent further drownings.

Speaking on the first anniversary of her daughter’s death she said: “It’s heartbreaking that so many young people have lost their lives in rivers in the past 12 months while enjoying a night out with friends.

“I can’t believe that another family is in the same place as I was this time last year in not knowing where their child is. It is every parents’ worst nightmare and like being in a horror story.

“Although we don’t know what’s happened to Euan it’s vital we raise awareness about water safety and make sure we do everything we can to make sure our rivers are as safe as possible.”

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition calling for improvements along Durham’s River Wear.

Jackie, who has been involved in discussions with York City Council about river safety, urged Durham County Council to take notice of the petition and work with experts like the RLSS UK. Councillors have promised a review.

The heartbroken mum said: “If more measures had been in place when Megan was alive the chances are she wouldn’t have ended up in the river.

“Prevention is priceless.”