‘Joking around’ students fall into River Wear on stretch where three were found dead

Marine Unit police called in after the body of Euan Coulthard was discovered in the River Wear at Durham below Framwellgate Bridge.
Marine Unit police called in after the body of Euan Coulthard was discovered in the River Wear at Durham below Framwellgate Bridge.
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TWO students have fallen into the River Wear in Durham, in a stretch of water that has seen the deaths of three undergraduates in the last 18 months.

The police said the two 19-year-old men toppled over a small wall while “joking around” but were able to pull themselves out and were helped up a muddy bank by some door staff.

Both of them were checked over and then handed fixed penalty notices for causing alarm to members of the public.

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In January, law student Euan Coulthard was discovered in the river and before him Sope Peters and Luke Pearce also drowned in the Wear following nights out.

All three sparked high profile and search rescue operations with emergency teams scouring the river for many days.

A Durham Constabulary spokesman said: “Police attended the Boathouse public house in Durham City in the early hours of Saturday morning after reports that two men had fallen in the river.

“The men both aged 19 and students from Durham University, had fallen into the river just after midnight after toppling over a small wall whilst joking around.

“The men were able to pull themselves out of the river and were then helped up the muddy river bank by door staff from the Boathouse.

“Both men were checked over by paramedics and neither were injured. The men both received fixed penalty notices for causing alarm to members of the public.”

A new riverside safety plan has been launched to try to tackle the problem, including an education programme, breath testing and guardians on the streets of the city.