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  1. ITV Report

Mother of 14 year-old who died swimming in the river backs new water safety campaign

The mother of a fourteen year old who died while swimming with friends in the River Wear is backing a new water safety campaign.

Cameron Gosling suffered a 'shock reaction' after jumping into the river near Bishop Auckland last summer.

His mother Fiona has joined the campaign 'Dying to be Cool' which is being launched by the council and emergency services to make teenagers aware that cold water shock kills.

Cameron Gosling suffered a 'shock reaction' after jumping into a river last summer.

The Safe Durham Partnership (SDP), supported by the family of County Cameron Gosling, is targeting ten to sixteen year olds and will be rolling out a poster campaign through schools and social media.

Representatives from the partnership will also visit schools to deliver assemblies on the dangers of cold water shock.

Cameron Gosling

They will be showing pupils a video shot at the spot where Cameron died, featuring some of his friends who were with him at the time and his mum Fiona.

Fourteen year old Cameron, a pupil at Parkside Academy in Willington, went to the River Wear near Bishop Auckland with friends on a sunny day in July 2015.

Without acclimatising himself, he jumped into the water, got into difficulties and died.

Fiona, who is pushing for water safety to be added to the national curriculum under the hashtag CampaigningforCam, said:

Cameron’s friends had paddled in the water before swimming but he jumped straight in and his body went into shock as a result of the sudden change in temperature. Had he known of the dangers of cold water shock, we might not have lost a loving son and friend.

– Fiona, Cameron Gosling's mother
Fiona, Cameron Gosling's mother

What happens when someone experiences cold water shock?

Sudden immersion in cold water can cause blood vessels in the skin to close which makes it harder for blood to flood around the body.

The heart then has to work harder and blood pressure increases.

At the same time there is a 'gasp' response which can result in water being breathed rather than air.

The breathing rate also changes dramatically - it can increase by as much as tenfold. All these responses contribute to a feeling of panic.

One effect of cold water shock can be cardiac arrest, while death can occur.

'Dying to be Cool' is a campaign aimed at making teenagers aware that cold water shock kills.