Mum of Sunderland teenager who drowned in River Wear calls for action to prevent further deaths

The mum of a Sunderland teenager who tragically drowned is marking the second anniversary of his death by calling for more to be done to prevent further deaths.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 12th September 2016, 4:23 pm
Jordan Roberts, 17, who was found dead in the Wear on September 9
Jordan Roberts, 17, who was found dead in the Wear on September 9

Brenda Roberts - whose son Jordan died after drowning in the River Wear at Finchale Abbey, near Durham City, in September 2014 - says the recent death of teenager Liam Hall, who died aged 17 after getting into difficult off Sunderland seafront earlier this month, had brought the tragedy of Jordan’s death rushing back to her.

Jordan Roberts was also just 17 when he died. Liam’s funeral is to take place on Monday.

FILE PIC dated 11 September 2014 Tributes at the site on the bank of the River Wear at Finchale, near Durham City, where Jordan Roberts drowned on September 8. Pic by Rob Freeth

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Both families have today called for more to be done to educate youngsters about the dangers of going into open water in the summer months.

Mrs Roberts, 48, said: “Young people, especially teenagers, need to understand that water is no game and that it is extremely dangerous.

“Although it may look calm and safe it is the opposite underneath. The current can sweep you away, you can lose your footing and the water temperature is beyond cold.

“More needs to be done so children educated about the dangers and hopefully these events will happen fewer and fewer times in the future.”

More than 200 youngsters gathered at Downhill to release Chinese lanterns and light candles in memory of their friend, Jordan Roberts.

Liam’s grandmother Linda Hall, 61, said: “There definitely needs to be more done to improve water safety. When I was a kid we were taught these things at school and so were my children, but now they don’t seem to be.

“Something needs to be done.”

Mrs Jordan said hearing of Liam’s death had brought back her own personal grief at losing Jordan.

She said: “I’m a carer and I was working in Seaburn at the time it happened. I don’t know Liam’s family but my heart goes out to them. That knock at the door is something you never want to get in your life.

Liam Hall, 17, who died in a sea tragedy in Sunderland.

“You just hope they get through things because it is horrible to deal with.”

Two years on, Brenda and Jordan’s siblings, Kenny, 30, Karen, 27, Sophie, 24, Callum, 22, Louise, 20, Megan, 18, and George, 17, yesterday visited Finchale Abbey to mark his death and will today visit his grave in Witherwack, two years to the day his body was found.

A post-mortem examination confirmed Jordan, of Kidsgrove Square, died due to drowning.

Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle told the hearing that Jordan had drowned and recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

FILE PIC dated 11 September 2014 Tributes at the site on the bank of the River Wear at Finchale, near Durham City, where Jordan Roberts drowned on September 8. Pic by Rob Freeth
More than 200 youngsters gathered at Downhill to release Chinese lanterns and light candles in memory of their friend, Jordan Roberts.
Liam Hall, 17, who died in a sea tragedy in Sunderland.