‘No stone will be left unturned’ – Durham University chief’s vow after death of Euan Coulthard

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A UNIVERSITY chief says ‘no stone will be left unturned’ in a bid to boost student safety after the tragic death of law student Euan Coulthard.

The body of the missing 19-year-old was pulled from the River Wear in Durham City on Friday afternoon.

Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden, Durham University, at a press conference at the Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, on  Monday. Prof Towl was speaking about the staff and students sadness concerning the death of student Euan Coulthard.

Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden, Durham University, at a press conference at the Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, on Monday. Prof Towl was speaking about the staff and students sadness concerning the death of student Euan Coulthard.

Euan, who studied at Durham University’s St Mary’s College and was originally from village of Bottesford, in Leicestershire, was reported missing on Thursday, January 15 after he failed to return home after a night out in Durham.

Three students have died in the stretch of river in the past 14 months.

Police are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Euan’s death.

But Durham University bosses say they will work with its Student Union, as well as river safety experts and Durham County Council, to help prevent similar tragedies occuring in the future.

MISSING STUDENT: Euan Coulthard, 19, and a law student at St Mary's College in Durham, was reported missing on the afternoon of Thursday, January 15.

MISSING STUDENT: Euan Coulthard, 19, and a law student at St Mary's College in Durham, was reported missing on the afternoon of Thursday, January 15.

Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Durham University, said: “We will be working closely with our partners, including the Student Union and rescue services to make sure we get a full range of solutions.

“We will hear from a range of voices and will be drawing in experts on river safety.

“We will be taking a measured response, there will not be a knee jerk response.

“We will leave no stone unturned as we try to improve safety.

Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden, Durham University, at a press conference at the Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, on  Monday. Prof.Towl was speaking about the stafft and students sadness corncerning the death of student Euan Coulthard

Professor Graham Towl, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Deputy Warden, Durham University, at a press conference at the Palatine Centre, Stockton Road, Durham, on Monday. Prof.Towl was speaking about the stafft and students sadness corncerning the death of student Euan Coulthard

“We are not presuming there is a link between the three deaths in the last 14 months, but we are open minded.”

Students have called for gates at access points along the river, as well as extra lighting.

Professor Towl says the university will continue to educate students on safety risks and is encouraging students to be pro-active in ensuring they are safe on nights out.

Prof Towl says a meeting will be held between the university and Durham City Council today.

Professor Towl says the university campus has been ‘shocked and saddened’ by Euan’s loss.

He added: “Students have reacted with sadness and shock.

“It is a time for grieving, for us all to come to terms with the loss.

“We have offered a full range of counselling for students, while students have been supporting eachother.”

Euan’s body was found by 45-year-old shellfish diver Trevor Bankhead, who had travelled over 170 miles to join the search.

After a painstaking wait for news, Professor Towl says family and friends now have a sense of ‘closure’.

He added: “There is a sense of closure. The university has been in contact with Euan’s family to offer support at such a difficult time.”

Prof Towl says the issue of late night drinking is a cause of concern across the country.

He added: “Speaking more generally, there is an issue across the UK with drinking and the behaviour of people linked to it.”

A post mortem examination has been carried out and an inquest into Euan’s death is expected to be opened later this week.

Professor Simon Hackett, Principal of St. Mary’s College, Durham University, said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Euan Coulthard. He was an extremely popular student with a warm character and a great sense of humour. Euan was a genuine friend to many, this was evident from the sheer number of students who helped with the Police search.

“He held a scholarship from the Squire Sanders Sutton Trust and as well as being a very bright and diligent student, he was passionate about sport; he played football for the College and took a keen interest in cricket. Euan fully embraced University life and was a valued member of St. Mary’s community.”

Supt Colin Williamson, from Durham Constabulary, added: “We are very grateful for the assistance we received during our searches from Euan’s friends and fellow students, as well as all the other agencies and volunteers who took part.

“Our thoughts are now very much with Euan’s family at this sad time.”