Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last nightURGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from riverBREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvementsDurham University: “We take student safety very seriously”Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge
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Updates: “The student is very lucky to be alive”

30 January 2015

By Oliver Mawhinney

uni

The University’s Chief Operating Officer, Paulina Lubacz, told the press conference earlier that the University are “working very closely with partners currently on the issue of safety, there’s a whole raft of measures being put in place.”

She said: “I’d like to express how relieved we are that there wasn’t another tragedy and particularly how grateful we are that that was averted, for the presence of mind and courage of the member of the public and emergency services who took such prompt action.

“We do take the safety of our students extremely important and we’re all very dismayed at recent events.

“We are working very closely with partners currently on the issue of safety, there’s a whole raft of measures being put in place.

In response to the variety of river measures being implemented, Lubacz stated that “led by the County Council on behalf of the various partners in the safety group, we’re looking at working with taxi companies to get students home safely, we’re looking at the volunteering schemes in the city who go out and we’re very grateful to them.

“So we’re continually trying to see how we can improve measures.”

Lubacz described it “it is very disappointing to find that we’ve had another incident.”

Lubacz identified the University policy on College bars as “very responsible” and distanced recent incidents from Colleges as “the tragedies we’ve had have involved students who were not residents in college and had not been drinking immediately beforehand in college bars.”

Meanwhile Professor Ray Hudson, Acting Vice-Chancellor, and Dan Slavin, the Students’ Union President have released the following statement: “In the early hours of this morning (Friday) the emergency services rescued a Durham University student from the River Wear. Thankfully the student is safe and well.

“We cannot over-emphasise the seriousness of this incident.  According to the Police the student is very lucky to be alive.

“The University and the Students’ Union this week committed to working with our partners to put in place a number of safety measures.

“However, there are actions you personally can and must take to ensure your safety and that of your friends:

* Ensure you drink responsibly (See advice from the National Union of Students here)

* Do not walk home by the river at night

* Do not walk home alone, and do not let your friends walk home alone”

 

 

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Updates — Police: “The reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident”

30 January 2015

By Olly Mawhinney

river

Police and University officials have held a press conference this afternoon, calling for students to “look at this fourth incident and… reflect very deeply on how alcohol plays a very significant part in putting your body at risk.”

The press conference took place in the car park of Durham Amateur Rowing Club near the location where the 20-year Northern Irish student who was living out of college was found.

Dave Orford, Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Police, said: “At around 1:45am this morning a member of the public contacted the police saying they could hear someone shouting from the river banks.

“Police officers from Durham City attended immediately and brought emergency equipment. When they got here they saw a young male who appeared heavily intoxicated.

“The officers called for further assistance from fire and rescue due to the serious nature of how the male was, they took the immediate decision to put their own lives at risk and formed a human chain and went into the river and tried to pull him out.

“Fire and rescue attended and thanks to their help they were able to pull out the officers and the male.

“In my opinion that saved his life.”

simon

The emergency services threw the student a flotation buoy but his hands were too cold to grasp it. Then a number of officers waded in to form a human chain in order to rescue him.

It is unknown why the student was in this location at the time but Orford explained “that will come out as part of the investigation.”

Orford described the location as “you can see the steep nature of the river, it may not look fast flowing but I know from living here myself it is a very dangerous river underneath with twigs and branches that can snag you.”

Orford commented: “We’ve got to thank that member of the public, because if we hadn’t had that call we could have been looking at a very serious tragedy and it certainly would have been a fatality.”

The police are now investigating the incident, Orford explained. “What we’re doing now is a very detailed investigation into what happened prior to and we’re keeping an open mind but we’re tracking back through friends and people who he was out with but we don’t think there was anyone else involved at this stage.

Orford stated that “we’ve got no evidence at that point that there was any third party involvement

“From what I believe so far the reckless consumption of alcohol was a key feature in this incident.”

At the time of the conference between 12:30 and 1:30pm, the student had been released from hospital suffering from hypothermia and was with officers giving a statement.

Orford said: “My appeal to the student body is to look at this fourth incident and absolutely reflect very deeply on how alcohol plays a very significant part in putting your body at risk

Orford added: “I think from my perspective and the police perspective the key message to land is personal responsibility, you put yourself at risk, you put the emergency services at risk and you can actually take large steps yourself to be aware of putting yourself in that position.

“Enjoy the university, enjoy your time here but don’t put yourself at risk.

“Durham City is the safest university city in England, I think the student body should reflect on not making it unsafe.

“I think the only link I can make at this point, is the proximity of the river and the consumption of alcohol.”

Orford reassured that they were working in partnership with the University: “I know the University are working very closely in relation to this and they are treating it very seriously and the highest level.

Update: PC at scene of incident describes river as “absolutely freezing”

By Oliver Mawhinney

durhamconstabulary

Durham City Police Officer PC Simon Cutter described the scene of the rescue last night as “absolutely freezing”.

He said “anyone wouldn’t last long who was in the river at the temperature it was last night.”

Officers had to clamber down an 8 foot drop to reach the student.

Cutter described the situation of the very icy river bank and car park as “pitch black, there was no light at all, other than the little torches we had.

“I just followed the voices and walked along the river bank until I luckily found where he was.”

The 23-year-old described his role in the six-person human chain as “tying ropes, holding on to my colleagues, anchoring off the bank so that when they’re at the front there not falling in and then I had two people behind me holding my trousers.

“The bottom [of the river] is just like thick clear silt and his feet were just anchored in the river and he had no chance of climbing [out].

“He’s just very, very lucky that there was somebody there to contact us.”

It is still unknown how long the student was in the river for. Cutter added that the student “doesn’t have any real recognition at all up until the point where he was trying to climb up the river bank.”

Cutter commended the member of public who called the police regarding the student in the river as “an absolute miracle that he was here at 1:45 morning.”

The PC expressed deep concern of the consumption of alcohol and the prominence of such incidents. “We’re all just concerned at how long this is going to go on for, we don’t want to be taking anyone else out of the river who has lost their life.

“There’s only so much we can do in putting people off [alcohol] and if three students who have lost their lives is not a deterrent for people, then we need to start looking at doing something else in trying to spot something like this happening.”

Cutter said that the operation was very dangerous. He commented: “In terms of putting our lives on the line you don’t really think of that, what I was thinking was that there’s someone in the river shouting help, what have we got that we can use to get him out of the water.

“Obviously we’re not fire and rescue so we don’t have long ladders and things like that, we were just lucky that we were at the police station at the time we got the call so we were able to grab all our life saving flotations equipment and bring it down with us.

“We managed to anchor that and tie it to a tree and chuck that in the water, and support him into putting his arms in their air getting him through the circle and flotation device but being in there that long he was growing increasingly difficult in replying and he was getting to the point where he was going to go unconscious.

“Obviously it was that cold all his movement was really slow and we were concerned about his strength and whether he could hold on.”

Photographs: Oliver Mawhinney

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Updates: Student rescued after falling in the River Wear last night

30 January 2015

By Olly Mawhinney

pal

Police have confirmed that a student was rescued from the River Wear in the early hours of this morning.

In a statement released by Durham Constabulary, the police said: “Durham police officers formed a human chain with help from the fire service to rescue a student who had fallen into the River Wear.

“The man was discovered at 1.45am today in the water near Durham Amateur Rowing Club by a passer-by who raised the alarm.

“Police officers came to the aid of the student and managed to get him out of the water with the help of colleagues from the fire service.

“The man was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham suffering from hypothermia.

“Suggestions of any other people missing in the incident are without foundation.”

Officers continued searching the area in the proximity between College of St Hild and St Bild and Klute nightclub until around 0250.

However the statement has dismissed suggestions of any other people missing in the incident, saying they were “without foundation”.

A helicopter spot light had been out and search and rescue teams were seen searching the river bank. A strong police presence with at least five vehicles was also in place.

The helicopter was seen as early as 0215 this morning.

Joe McWilliam, a first year student at Hild Bede College, told Palatinate last night: “There were searchlights everywhere scanning up and down the river. It was pretty terrifying, especially after recent events.”

The rescue of the student  occurred just one week after the body of second year, St Mary’s student Euan Coulthard was found in the River Wear and on the same week the Durham City Safety Group announced a number of new measures to improve riverside safety.

Update 1410: Professor Ray Hudson, Acting Vice-Chancellor, and Dan Slavin, the Students’ Union President have released the following statement: “In the early hours of this morning (Friday) the emergency services rescued a Durham University student from the River Wear. Thankfully the student is safe and well.

“We cannot over-emphasise the seriousness of this incident.  According to the Police the student is very lucky to be alive.

“The University and the Students’ Union this week committed to working with our partners to put in place a number of safety measures.

“However, there are actions you personally can and must take to ensure your safety and that of your friends:

* Ensure you drink responsibly (See advice from the National Union of Students here)

* Do not walk home by the river at night

* Do not walk home alone, and do not let your friends walk home alone”

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URGENT: Major rescue operation underway by Hild Bede after “young male” rescued from river

30 January 2015

By Oliver Mawhinney

pal

Police have rescued a “young male” who fell in the River Wear in the early hours of this morning.

A search and rescue worker told Palatinate that they are still looking for a friend who was possibly with him at the time. The worker, who was accompanied by two workers by Hild Bede Boathouse, could not confirm whether the person was a student.

A helicopter spot light has been out and search and rescue teams are searching the river bank. There is a strong police presence with at least five vehicles.

The helicopter was seen as early as 0215 this morning. Most of the operation seems to have taken place between the College of St Hild and St Bild and Klute nightclub.

Joe McWilliam, a first year at Hild Bede College, told Palatinate: “There were searchlights everywhere scanning up and down the river. It was pretty terrifying, especially after recent events.”

 

Update 0256: The activity has moved towards the centre of the city with no presence around Hild Bede College.

Update 0321: Activity seems to have subsided.

 

 

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BREAKING: City Safety Group announces riverside safety improvements

28 January 2015

Body-Found-small1By Henry Clare 

The Durham City Safety Group has announced a number of new measures to improve riverside safety, following the death of Euan Coulthard earlier this month.

A statement from the City Safety Group said that there is a “clear and strong will to progress this work as quickly as possible”, and implement the changes immediately.

Among the measures are plans to provide a “reassuring presence in the city, particularly during night-time”

These include the development of a “high visibility welfare unit to provide a safe haven when appropriate” and a new voluntary scheme named ‘Durham Street Lights’ to help students get home safely.

The City Safety Group has also said that a Driver’s Recruitment Team will be launched to support the Student’s Union’s plans to re-establish a night-bus to take students home after evenings out.

The University is reportedly in talks with local taxi operators in the hope of giving at-risk students another safe way of getting home.

Furthermore, the City Safety Group announced it would undertake a number of measures to educate students about their welfare, and that the University and Student’ Union will work together to ensure that students are informed about their personal well-being during evenings out.

The Safety Group is set to “explore measures to tackle the availability of cheap alcohol”, and said that it is looking into steps to monitor alcohol consumption where student’s wellbeing might be at risk.

An independent review of riverside safety by the Royal Society for the Prevention Accidents (RoSPA) will also take place.

These measures will be undertaken and implemented immediately, and a further meeting will be held within the next two weeks to discuss any further measures that could be undertaken in the future.

Photograph: Tom Fenton 

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Durham University: “We take student safety very seriously”

26 January 2015

Professor Graham Towl 600x400By James Poole

Professor Graham Towl issued a statement this afternoon on behalf of the University after Durham Constabulary confirmed earlier today that the body found in the River Wear on Friday is that of Euan Coulthard.

Addressing national and local media, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden said:

“At this difficult time I think it’s important that we respect the privacy of the family involved in this case.

“The issue of riverside safety is one that we as a University take very seriously. We’re going to look at a range of factors to improve the situation. We need to work carefully with our partners to ensure that we reach the right solution, not necessarily the quickest one.

“We have a meeting tomorrow with Durham County Council and will be speaking with Roberta Blackman-Woods MP next week. This is undoubtedly a challenging issue for us but it’s a challenge that we’re going to rise to, we will leave no stone unturned in tackling this issue.”

When asked what advice the University has for students, he said:

“Across the UK there are issues surrounding alcohol and that’s of course of concern to us. Students need to look after themselves and one another.”

Speaking last Friday, Police Superintendent Huddleston said that he would welcome measures to improve riverside safety, whilst the Prime Minister backed calls for improvements to riverside safety last Thursday.

Photograph: James Poole

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Mary’s students win Npower Future Leaders Challenge

24 January 2015

By Pippa Cole

Sam and Finlay with their trophy

Two St Mary’s College students will be jetting off to the Amazon Rainforest this June, having won the Npower Future Leaders Challenge.Sam Shuttleworth and Finlay Milner, who are both second-year Engineers, received the price alongside joint winners from the University of East Anglia and the University of Bristol.

Their trip to the Amazon will involve joining the Kaxinawá tribe in the jungle, living with the Huni Kui people in the Brazilian side of the rainforest, and installing renewable technology such as solar energy panels and a solar water pump.

They have also secured a summer internship with Npower as part of their prize.

The competition asked both students and employees to run a project promoting sustainability in their local communities, and asked them to film their progress for the final submission ahead of the final on the 4th of December.

Sam and Finlay travelled the North East publicising their campaign ‘Student Grub’, which aimed to encourage eating insects as part of a sustainable and healthy diet.

The campaign involved offering various treats, such as grasshopper kebabs and chocolate covered crickets, to members of the public.

To get their message across to their local community, they have visited Joseph Swan School in Gateshead, been promoting on campus in Durham, visited Npower’s office in Rainton, and appeared on BBC Radio North East.

Sam and Finlay described the schoolchildren’s reactions as “interesting”, and told Palatinate that the feedback they received was positive.

The competition reached its climax on the 4th of December, when competitors met at Regent House in Rainton for the final.

Prior to the announcement of the winner, a number of prominent figures from the energy industry spoke, including Darren Messem from the Carbon Trust, who gave an insight into sustainability and how reducing waste, water and carbon can help to ensure the future of our environment.

Lord Selborne, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee in Parliament then announced the winners of the competition, and presented Sam and Finlay with their trophy.

When asked how they felt about winning, Sam and Finlay told Palatinate “we thought we were in with a good chance”, but that overall they were “pretty surprised to win”, given the strength of the other teams.

The other winning campaign from the University of East Anglia, called ‘Go with the Flow’, asked students at the university to urinate in the shower in order to save water.

The project attracted national press and the video that they produced to accompany the campaign quickly went viral.

Meanwhile, Bristol University’s team set up a pop-up swap shop to sell on used clothes, which has now become a permanent shop.

Sam and Finlay hope that “in later years, the campaign could provide an idea for setting up a business.”

For now though, they’re focusing on their studies as second-year Engineers.

Looking forward to their prize trip to the Amazon Rainforest, Finlay told Palatinate “I have never been to that part of the world and I think it’s going to be fantastic!”

Photograph: Venus Loi