Aaron Burgess inquest

An inquest is taking place in to the death of Aaron Burgess from Gloucestershire who drowned in the River Avon at Saltford

Father condemns safety standards at Saltford Weir

The father of 14-year-old Aaron Burgess who drowned in the River Avon at Saltford Weir has condemned safety standards there. Jamie Burgess told the inquest into his son's death that more needed to be done to prevent future accidents.

The inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner's Court near Bristol heard how the tragedy unfolded on July 24 last year as temperatures peaked at 25 degrees C. Aaron, from Saltford, visited a stretch of the River Avon with a group of friends. He was encouraged to slide along a steep wall into the water.

But the teenager, who was not a strong swimmer, failed to resurface and friends and on-lookers launched a frantic search to find him.

Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a verdict of accidental death and said there was nothing his friends could have done to save the youngster.

"I feel health and safety issues need to be addressed. I think they could put a piece of fence to deter anyone from walking on the weir", he said."I don't think the Canals and River Trust has done enough, in my eyes I think they have tried to shove the blame on to somebody else."I think they could have done a little bit more, especially given the saving of somebody else only six weeks earlier."

– Jamie Burgess, Aaron's father

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