TEENAGERS who lost one of their best friends when a day out to the river ended in tragedy have opened up about life without him.

In a series of videos, Cameron Gosling’s friends Laura Cowan, Matty Wraith, Ellis Hanley and Kian Johnson also warn people of the potentially fatal dangers of cold water shock.

These were risks the friends were unaware of when they headed to the River Wear at Witton Park, near Bishop Auckland, on a hot day in July 2015. A strong swimmer, Cameron, from Crook, jumped straight into the river without acclimatising and the cold water caused his body to go into shock causing him to drown.

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Now, the 14-year-old’s friends have bravely spoken about what happened that day in a bid to encourage people to get their bodies used to the water temperature instead of jumping in.

Matty said: “He jumped in and gasped for air and started shouting for help and that was when we knew he was in trouble. I was alright at swimming, so was Cameron but obviously the river was a bit too strong. Your initial thoughts are to jump in and help but it didn’t end up good.”

He added: “The atmosphere is not the same now – when you do stuff you just wish he was there.

“Don’t dive straight in. It is probably the worst thing you can do. Go in slowly if you are going to go in.”

The friends of the Parkside Academy pupil also share their memories of him, including his love of riding his scooter at Glenholme Park near his home. In June, a memorial bench for Cameron was unveiled at the park.

The videos, made by Durham County Council, are part of the Safe Durham Partnership’s Dying to be Cool campaign, which seeks to educate ten to sixteen year-olds on cold water shock. They will be released on the council’s social media channels in the coming weeks.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Cabinet member for community safety, said it was difficult to comprehend what the last two years had been life for the teenagers, adding: “It is a real credit to them that they have been willing to take part in this campaign to raise awareness of this condition which claimed the life of their friend.”

Cameron’s mother, Fiona Gosling, who has spearheaded the Dying to be Cool campaign, added: “Cameron was really close to Laura, Ellis, Kian and Matty and they have shared in the pain myself, his dad and brothers have experienced since he died. It is amazing that they have taken part in these videos. to teach people about cold water shock and I’m sure Cameron would be really proud of them.”

To find out more about the campaign, visit durham.gov.uk/dyingtobecool