A MOTHER returned to the scene of her teenage son’s death this morning to highlight the potentially fatal risk of jumping into rivers this summer.

Cameron Gosling went into the River Wear near Bishop Auckland in July 2015 but the sudden immersion in water caused his body to go into ‘cold water shock.’

The Northern Echo:

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Cameron Gosling, who drowned in July 2015

Today his mother Fiona Gosling, from Crook, lay flowers at the site, at Paradise Park in Witton Park, before officially re-launching a hard-hitting water safety campaign.

Dying to be Cool aims to educate ten to 16-year-olds of the dangers of jumping into open water without acclimatising.

The Northern Echo:

Fiona Gosling returns to the place near Witton Park, where her son Cameron died, to help launch the Safe Durham Partnership’s Dying to be Cool campaign 2017 with Kevin Lough, Occupational Health and Safety Officer for Durham County Council

Now in its second year, the Safe Durham Partnership project is being led by Durham County Council and Mrs Gosling. To date, it has delivered the important safety message to more than 10,000 children in person and has coincided with a reduction in water related fatalities and injuries.

This summer, Dying to be Cool will potentially be rolled out beyond County Durham for the first time.

Mrs Gosling said: “It is so important that young people and their parents know all about the dangers of jumping into rivers, lakes and reservoirs, especially as the warmer weather approaches. 

“It really could mean the difference between a teenager coming home from a day out with his friends or not.”

Cameron, a pupil at Parkside Academy in Willington, was enjoying a day out with his friends when he got into difficulty. He was a strong swimmer but cold water shock can affect anyone as it is an involuntary response which can trigger breathing difficulties and cardiac arrest.

Mrs Gosling said she felt closer to her son at the riverside, adding: “He wasn’t here having a bad day. He was having a good day and it turned bad through no fault of his own.”

So far this year, Mrs Cameron and the fire service have delivered Dying to be Cool assemblies to more than 6,600 schoolchildren, in addition to the 3,360 students spoken to last year. 

The campaign has also been promoted nationally by the Local Government Association and County Durham Olympic silver medal winning rower Jess Eddie.

Cold water shock is the body’s short term involuntary response to being suddenly immersed in cold water which can result in breathing difficulties and cardiac arrest.

The Safe Durham Partnership includes the county council, Durham Police, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and other partner agencies.