Somerset

Drowned student's father says River Avon is 'Bath's serial killer'

Henry Burke Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Henry Burke's body was recovered from a stretch of the River Avon off Old Orchard on 26 November

The father of a student who drowned in the River Avon in Bath said it was a "serial killer" after his son became the 10th person to die in seven years.

Henry Burke, 19, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, left Zero Zero nightclub on 24 November after bouncers refused him entry as he "appeared drunk".

His father, Paul Burke, said: "If the river was a human being, it would be Bath's biggest serial killer."

An inquest concluded the student's death was accidental.

'Physically fit'

Henry Burke was the 10th person to die in the River Avon, in central Bath, since 2009. His death sparked a petition to improve safety.

Avon's assistant coroner Robert Sowersby said the death "looked like an awful accident".

The inquest heard the geography student may have "entered the water by accident due to intoxication by alcohol".

The court was told he was a "physically fit young male" who had gone out to celebrate after being selected for the rugby team.

Image caption Paul Burke said "at 19 and 20 we think we're invincible and Henry was one of those boys who loved adventure"

Mr Burke said: "We would like Henry to become the last person to die as a result of the river that runs through Bath city centre".

He also called on the "local authority to make it as safe as possible".

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