Urgent meeting after river death

By Connie Osborne Monday 17 March 2014 Updated: 17/03 11:20

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Buy photos » Rescuers at the scene. Picture by Tim Owen (s).

AN URGENT meeting has been called following the tragic river death of a teenager.

Richard Fellows lost his life at the River Arrow, by the Five Tunnels near Church Hill, after getting into difficulty in the water yesterday (Sunday).

The 15-year-old passed away at the Alexandra Hospital after being found in the water by emergency services staff and a Hazardous Area Response Team.

Another two boys were rescued from the river but were treated for minor injuries at the scene and released.

The Standard reported in July last year how a six-year-old girl and her 11-year-old brother had to be rescued from the same spot after also getting into difficulty in the water.

Coun Rebecca Blake, responsible for community safety, has called for a meeting today (Monday) to discuss the incident.

She said:"I'm meeting with my community safety team today to understand fully what happened yesterday.

"Redditch Borough Council, West Mercia Police, the fire service and other partners will continue to work together in particular to reach as many young people and make sure they know just how dangerous open water can be.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of this young man who tragically lost his life having drowned in open water.

It's a devastating tragedy."

Following incident in the summer calls were made to Redditch Borough Council to put safety measures in place in the area and an urgent report was undertaken by the authority.

The river was patrolled by officers from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service over the summer in a bid to save lives by dissuading people from swimming in the open water.

Branches were also cut back which may have been used for rope swings and a temporary sign was put up alerting people of the hazard by Redditch Borough Council.

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Buy photos» Picture by Tim Owen (s).

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Buy photos» The site of the incident. Picture from Google Earth, courtesy of Tim Owne. (s).

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