Page last updated at 20:22 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 21:22 UK

River drowning death 'avoidable'

Bath riverside
Mr Baylis maintains jumping in was the only option

A student who tried to rescue a man from drowning in Bath has called for more safety equipment to be provided on the banks of the River Avon.

Adam Baylis said he risked his life to try to save Kharunigan Jayanantham and that his death was "totally avoidable".

Mr Baylis, 22, said he could not find a rope or buoyancy aid and so dived in.

Bath and North East Somerset Council said it commissions inspections and receives advice from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

"[This is] to help inform our approach to providing water safety measures along the River Avon," a council spokesman said.

I could have dived in and hit a trolley or got tangled up in something, and then that would have been two deaths in one
Adam Baylis

A Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) spokesperson said the best way to stay safe was to keep out of the water altogether.

"Although safety equipment can be very useful at sites like the one in Bath... each spot is different and needs its own regular risk assessment."

Mr Baylis, who was a student at Bath Spa University at the time of the incident in May, maintained jumping in was the only option.

"If I didn't have to go in the river that day then I wouldn't have done.

"I know the health and safety risks of going into water, especially at that time of year - it's cold, it's a strong current, it's deep.

"I don't know what's in there. I could have dived in and hit a trolley or got tangled up in something, and then that would have been two deaths in one.

"Like I said before, it's not good enough."

A inquest into 21-year-old Mr Jayanatham's death has been opened and adjourned.



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