Teenager’s death brings home the dangers of lakes

By <b>Connie Osborne Friday 20 June 2014 Updated: 23/06 12:59

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Buy photos » Flowers and tributes were laid at the spot where Richard Fellows lost his life. 1214024 MMR2

THE FRIENDS of a teenager who drowned in a Redditch river did everything they could to rescue him, an inquest heard.

Richard Fellows lost his life after getting into difficulty in the River Arrow near the Five Tunnels on Sunday, March 16.

On Wednesday (June 18) Worcestershire’s Coroners Court heard how the 15-year-old went down to the beauty spot with a group of friends.

One jumped into the water but commented on how cold it was and got out. But the Trinity High School Pupil, nicknamed Porky, jumped into the river along with another friend.

A witness statement read out by deputy coroner Marguerite Elcock said: “Porky was waving his arms really fast all over the place like he was drowning.”

His friend tried to grab hold of him but failed, while a second friend jumped back into the water to try and rescue him.

The witness then stopped a member of the public for help and called the emergency services.

A team searched the water for the Brockhill teenager before he was recovered and taken to the Alexandra Hospital where he was confirmed dead. A post mortem confirmed he died as a result of drowning.

A toxicology report also showed there was no alcohol or drugs in his system.

In summing up the case, Mrs Elcock said the evidence was clear and undisputed.

“It is quite clear that these young people had gone swimming and that Richard Fellows succumbed to the dangers of swimming in a lake,” she said.

She offered her condolences to the family and added she recognised how ‘close-knit’ they were.

A verdict of accidental death was returned.

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