Nathan Fleetwood: Calls to improve river safety after three men fall into River Severn in one month

Campaigners and the family of Nathan Fleetwood tell ITV Central reporter Pablo Taylor why more safety measures should be in place along the River Severn.

There are calls to urgently improve safety around the River Severn in Shrewsbury, after a number of incidents in the last month, including two where men have died.

A safety review by Shropshire Council will be carried out after the death of Toby Jones, 31, and the discovery of the body of 21-year-old Nathan Fleetwood in the water.

Two days after Mr Fleetwood's body was discovered on April 16, another man fell into the river, but was rescued.

Mr Fleetwood's family and friends have joined calls to improve safety along the stretch of water, including the installation of more lighting and CCTV.

Hundreds of people were involved in the search for Mr Fleetwood, who went missing after a night out in Shrewsbury on March 27.

His father, Jez Fleetwood told ITV News Central: "He had such a lovely temperament, very kind-hearted, thoughtful, hard-worker, loved his football, loved his friends"

"It still hasn't sunk in for all of us. At night, we get a few hours sleep, but obviously we wake up in the morning and go through that day again."

Mr Fleetwood's family say they are determined to prevent other people from going through the same loss and grief as them, and believe increased river safety is the solution.

A 'spate' of river incidents

On the other side of Shrewsbury, there's a tribute to 31-year-old Toby Jones, whose body was recovered on April 1.

Two days after that, another man fell into the river after a night out and had to be rescued.

His rescuer, Will Mowbray, had been walking home with his girlfriend when he spotted 31-year-old Dan Walker's head bobbing out of the water.

He jumped in and held him above water for 30-40 minutes while waiting for help to arrive.

Mr Mowbray said: "Someone had put a ladder in the river to try and help him climb out, but that wasn't working because it wasn't positioned right.

"So I got in the river myself, repositioned the ladder, but when I put my wait on it it sank in the sludge.

"After that it was about 30 or 40 minutes of me clinging onto the river bank and me clinging onto him while we waited for rescue services to arrive."

Dan Walker said he had never been so scared in his life, and says he owes so much to Mr Mowbray.

He said: "I couldn't hold on anymore, I had no strength left.

"Not long after he got in the water with me I lost consciousness and he had to tread water for 40 minutes keeping my head above the water - so I would not be here now without him.

"Where I went in there were no railings. If there had been railings there I probably wouldn't have ended up in the water in the first place."

In a statement, Alan Mosley, Leader of Shrewsbury Town Council said:

“These tragic deaths have rightly caused great concern across our communities and we will  respond alongside our partners and stakeholders."

He added the council must "undertake a thorough assessment of where additional fencing is necessary" in the town, and also "make river safety and avoidance integral to education and publicity initiatives at all times.”