Parents of Jordan Veira ask for inquest to address river safety

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

An inquest is set to be held in November looking into the death of Jordan Veira – the teenager who died in the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End earlier this year.

At a pre-inquest review on Thursday (August 19), senior coroner for Berkshire, Heidi Connor, ran through which witnesses would be speaking and heard from bereaved parents Shaun and Sibongile Veira.

The inquest will examine when, where and how Jordan died, the circumstances around the discovery of his body, and when and where he entered the water.

Both of the Jordan’s parents expressed a wish to know more about how the search unfolded, as they feel that Jordan could have been found earlier.

They also wish for the inquest to cover safety measures. Following his death, they called for more signs around the river.

“There were absolutely no signs to say there was any risk, nothing there to protect any adult or child swimming in that river,” said Sibongile Veira.

“If there had been a sign, my son would’ve taken more caution before going into that river.”

She added that agencies with the power to do this would have already known that the river is dangerous due to previous deaths.

Alongside the family, the Environment Agency will also be considered an ‘interested party’ in the inquest, to consider matters of safety.

Other expected witnesses include the pathologist, alongside police officers who examined Jordan’s body and those who investigated the incident.

A detective will give an account of what was seen by the child witnesses.

Mrs Connor said that the post-mortem revealed no head injury that could have contributed to Jordan’s death, and that the minor injuries on his body were consistent with his having been in the river.

The inquest will also hear from Kingston Maritime Voluntary Service (MVS Kingston), a charity that works to promote safety on the Thames, and frequently attends inquests.

Steve Collins, head of unit, said the service is ‘very concerned’ that there have been no river experts at previous inquests.

Potentially, the landowners for the area where Jordan died may also be called as witnesses. Mr Connor said that MVS Kingston believe this is the National Trust.

Whether or not river safety signage is installed may be a matter for the landowners to decide.

The proposed date of the inquest is set for November 4.

Jordan would have been 16 years old next week. Tributes were paid to him by his school and sports club in June.

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  • EnglishCastle

    08:01, 03 September 2021

    Didn't the parents teach their child that water, particularly rivers are potentially dangerous? Don't blame society for your own failure.



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