Children still swimming in dangerous spot where Huntingdon teenager Rony John drowned

Rony, second from right, was part of a cup win.

Rony, second from right, was part of a cup win. - Credit: Archant

Children are still swimming in the River Great Ouse where a teenager drowned while playing with his friends on the first day of the summer holidays.

Councillor Patrick Kadewere told The Hunts Post that children have been spotted in the past few weeks in the water at Church Lane, Hartford, the exact spot where 15-year-old Rony John died on July 24.

Rony, of Tomlinson Court, Huntingdon, was jumping in the river with friends when he failed to resurface, sparking a search of the river.

Cllr Kadewere said it was “unbelievable that children were still using the river as a swimming pool”.

He added: “The people who know what has happened will not be swimming here, but there are the others who don’t and they are still doing it. I spoke to a woman who said that she didn’t know what to do when she saw people jumping in.

“Parents need to tell their children not to swim here as we have already had one tragedy. We don’t want another.

“We need to raise awareness to more people to try to get them to stop jumping into the river and to know what has happened. We must learn from this and do something. We don’t want a situation where another person dies and we go ‘why wasn’t anything done last time?’”

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The Labour councillor is also helping the Huntingdon Alliance for Indians (HAI) to get warning signs placed next to the river and yesterday afternoon (Tuesday) met with an officer from Huntingdonshire District Council to see where they could be fitted.

Cllr Kadewere will be meeting him again in the next couple of weeks to find a suitable sign for the green space next to the river at Church Lane.

“I will be working very hard on this project. Things are progressing as we are working with the council’s operations department to make this happen,” Cllr Kadewere said.

He is also investigating ways to prohibit people from swimming in the river at Hartford, as well as working with schools in the area to help spread awareness of the dangers of swimming in rivers and gravel pits.

“We also want to try to get parents to get their children to learn how to swim as it will help prevent tragedies not only here but if they go on their holidays too,” he said.

HAI is also working with the district council to have a memorial bench to Rony placed on the green.