Petition calling for Bath river safety after student death

image copyrightAvon and Somerset Police
image captionA body believed to be Henry Burke's was recovered from the River Avon on Saturday

A petition calling for the installation of safety barriers alongside a river where a student died has gained more than 4,000 signatures.

Henry Burke, 19, from Ripon in North Yorkshire was last seen leaving Zero Zero nightclub in Bath on Thursday.

His body was recovered from the River Avon on Saturday and police are treating the death as "unexplained".

Campaigners are calling for greater safety after several people have died in the River Avon in recent years.

Christopher Taylor, 21, died in 2014 and previously, students Sammuel Amin, 18, and James Bubear, 19, both drowned in the river.

Sophie Clark, who started the petition, said: "Many lives have been lost because of the river. It is not safe and we all have pulled together before to try and get the council to put up barriers to stop deaths happening in the future.

"But unfortunately another had to die because of poor judgement. This petition is only because I want this to end."

Fencing erected

An earlier petition calling for improved safety measures in the area gained 4,264 signatures.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said that since 2011 it had spent about £500,000 on river safety.

A stretch of fencing along the river between Windsor Bridge Road and Green Park was erected in 2013.

Also the council has distributed safety leaflets and held induction talks with Bath College, Bath Spa University and the University of Bath students.

The authority said it is "keen to emphasise that although the River Avon is a beautiful part of the city, people are reminded of the importance of staying safe around the water, particularly at night time".

Henry Burke had been studying geography at Bath Spa University. His family said the "pain of his parting cannot be expressed".

In a statement, Bath Spa University expressed "extreme sadness" at his death, and said as a "valued member of the university community", he will be "greatly missed".

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