In three heartbreaking videos the mother, girlfriend and father speak of their pain. Each has lost a loved one, all have had their lives ruined.
They have spoken out to put across a simple message they hope everyone will heed: “Please take care near York’s rivers.”
The mother is Jackie Roberts, who lost her daughter Megan, 20, last January. The father is Steve Pearson, whose 18-year-old son Tyler died in April. Both drowned in the River Ouse.
The girlfriend is Rachel Peatfield. Her boyfriend, Ben Clarkson, 22, died in March having drowned in the River Foss.
In association with the Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, they have made three short films to highlight the need to take safety precautions near York’s fast flowing rivers.
‘It was like being in a horror story’
“It’s like being in a horror story, it was just torture,” says Jackie Roberts of every parent’s worst nightmare.
Her daughter Megan was “a very special girl”. “I’ve lost my daughter and a really good friend.’
If anything can be learned from this, Jackie says, “it really is the looking out for each other, making sure you know how you’re getting home, your route home, you know, planning cabs in advance”.
‘It’s a place of beauty and I can’t see it’
“We had some fantastic times out, and now I’m covered in goosebumps, hurting in my chest, hurting in my head, wanting to cry,” says Steve Pearson, walking along the stretch of river where Tyler died.
“I am broken. I cannot see a way forward from here.”
‘Getting home is the most important part of the night’
“Because of this, I’ve lost the love of my life,” says Rachel Peatfield, whose boyfriend was Ben Clarkson.
“I’ve lost my home; I’ve lost both jobs; I’ve lost my future that I had planned out; I’ve lost everything.”
It can happen to anybody, she says.
“Getting home is probably the most important part of your night, you won’t think about that when you’re getting ready and choosing a nice outfit.
“But what’s the point in having the best night ever, if you’re never going to make it home again?”