Water safety on the timetable in County Durham schools


Donations made to the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) following the death of Durham student Euan Coulthard, who drowned in the River Wear in January, have allowed pupils at every school in County Durham to be educated on water safety.

Following his death, Euan’s family asked for donations to be made to the RLSS in his memory. Now, with support from Durham’s council and fire brigade, the RLSS has provided further funding to make young children aware of the danger of waters.

Outside of the 150 drowning prevention packs that were sent to schools within the county over the last two months, schools were invited to a water safety day, with around 150 pupils learning vital life saving skills in a one-off event at an open-air swimming pool.

Euan Coulthard’s mother, Esther Coulthard, said: “Euan was a lovely, bright young man who had such a bright future, now gone from our family. I would hate this to happen to anyone or have their family go through what we have been going through.

“Always stay safe and respect the water at all times.”

“Always stay safe and respect the water at all times.”

Kevin Lough, chair of Durham County Council’s open water safety group, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Euan’s family and friends as well as the RLSS UK.

“An entire generation of County Durham youngsters will go on their summer holidays with extra knowledge regarding how to stay safe around the water.”

The deaths of Durham students Sope Peters, Luke Pearce, and Euan Coulthard have prompted greater action to improve safety along areas of the River Wear in Durham.

The City Safety Group, in line with an independent report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and a £230,000 investment from Durham County Council, the University, and Cathedral, is overseeing measures to install lighting and gates along some areas of the riverbank and footpaths to improve safety.

Photograph: Joyce Uerpairojkit

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