Student describes aftermath of Durham river rescue

Police press conference on the riverbank at Durham Amateur Rowing Club about the rescue of Durham University Student. Durham Police and Crime. Durham University student Oliver Mawhinney who also works for the Uni newspaper.

Police press conference on the riverbank at Durham Amateur Rowing Club about the rescue of Durham University Student. Durham Police and Crime. Durham University student Oliver Mawhinney who also works for the Uni newspaper.

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A DURHAM student today relived the moment he woke up to find police combing the river Wear outside his window.

Officers were searching the area after the rescue of a 20-year-old student from the river close by Durham Amateur Rowing Club, double-checking there was nobody else in the water.

Geography student Oliver Mawhinney, who writes for the student paper Palatine, said: “My window is opposite the river.

“I was woken up by the police helicopter, which was running its searchlight across the water.

“There were officers searching the bank – I could see a lot of them just crawling all over the riverbank and the helicopter moving slowly across the river.”

Three students have died in the Wear at Durham in the last year and Oliver said there was growing concern that not enough was being done to keep the river safe.

“There is a lot of anger that the safety measures implemented earlier this year are bot going as far as students think they should,” he said.

But with police identifying alcohol as a major factor in all four incidents, he agreed students needed to take responsibilty for their actions.

“Maybe measures are need to increased to promote alcohol awareness,” he said.