Friends of teenage drowning victim campaign to improve river safety

Friends of teenage drowning victim campaign to improve river safety

Lucy Golding

Friends of teenage drowning victim campaign to improve river safety

A campaign for buoys, life-jackets and warning signs to be installed along the Thames has been launched by friends of teenage drowning victim Kyrece Marshall-Francis.

A total of £6,882 has already been raised for the cause since the 13-year-old Great Marlow School pupil lost his life on the stretch of the river between Bourne End and Marlow on Tuesday, July 22.

Two days after the tragedy a group of Kyrece's friends - including those that were with him when he died - set out on their mission to prevent history from repeating itself.

As well as gaining support from police they drafted in Rachel Rowley, the aunt of one of the children who works as an events co-ordinator at Boulters Lock Residential Home in Maidenhead, to get the campaign rolling.

So far the 25-year-old, from High Wycombe, has set up a JustGiving page and contacted the Environment Agency to look into the feasibility of setting up the equipment.

The campaign group hopes to raise enough money to purchase the equipment, keep it maintained and make it as vandal-proof as possible.

Rachel said: "There is nothing in the area where Kyrece went in, only in the house on the other side of the river."

We are never going to stop everybody from going in the river but if we can just save a life then it would be worth it."

The mother-of-three, who has the full support of Kyrece's parents, is also hoping to set up a meeting with Mayor of Marlow, Cllr Suzanne Brown, and with Wycombe District Council.

Suzanne Brown said: "Anything to make children aware of the dangers of the river is a good thing, although we have to make sure they can't be vandalised."

Money is also being raised for the campaign through the sale of blue and white loom bands.

Hundreds of balloons were released in High Wycombe on Saturday in Kyrece's memory.

A charity car wash is being held on Saturday from 10am-2pm at Beaconsfield Fire Station in Skelton Close. 

Visit here to donate.


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