Leeds & West Yorkshire

Megan Roberts' mum hails new River Aire safety lines

Emergency throwline
Image caption The lines have been put at 17 places along a mile-long stretch of the River Aire in Leeds

A mother whose daughter drowned has welcomed new rescue equipment placed alongside the River Aire.

"Throwlines" have been put at 17 places along a mile-long stretch of the river in Leeds to aid people who have fallen in.

The centre of Leeds had seen 80 water rescues since 2012, said West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

Jackie Roberts, mother of 20-year-old Megan who drowned in the River Ouse in 2014, said the scheme was "brilliant".

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Megan Roberts drowned in the Ouse at York. The university student from Wetherby, West Yorkshire, disappeared during a night out drinking with friends.

She was last seen on 23 January 2014 when CCTV recorded her on the corner of Rougier Street and Lendal Bridge in York at about 02:20 GMT.

Her body was found later in the river at Acaster Malbis.

'Are in enormous trouble'

Mrs Roberts said: "Everyone knows that roads are dangerous.

"People don't see water as being as dangerous, so they'll go near water when they've had a drink."

Image copyright NORTH YORKSHIRE POLICE
Image caption Megan Roberts was studying fine art at York St John University

Dave Walton, of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: "If you are in the water on your own you are in enormous trouble.

"But if a throwline is there and somebody uses it we believe they will be life-saving by those vital seconds before the emergency services get there to help."

The equipment allows people to help someone in the water without going in themselves, he added.

The lines are padlocked for security and each is numbered, allowing the emergency services to pinpoint the exact location.

After calling 999 the lines can be unlocked for use.

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