10:39AM, Wednesday 01 August 2018
The family of a young man who died in the Jubilee River in 2015 has urged would-be swimmers to think twice, after two men’s bodies were recovered from the river in July.
Police officers began searching along the river on Wednesday, July 25, after a man believed to be in his twenties jumped into the water near the weir at Windsor Road and experienced difficulties while swimming.
They recovered a body of a man who is yet to be formally identified the following day and pronounced him dead at the scene.
Three weeks before, 17-year-old Dajarn Daly, from Huxley Close, Wexham, was found dead in the water.
The exact cause of both deaths is not yet known.
The news has led to warnings from Mark Scaife, of Trelawney Avenue, Langley, whose 20-year-old son Michael died close to the bridge near The Myrke after jumping into the Jubilee River in August 2015 to save a friend.
He asked people to pay attention to warning signs by the river and said they are there for a reason.
“I would say don’t go in the river at all,” said Mark, who warned that the weirs could result in unexpected currents taking swimmers by surprise.
After losing his son, Mark worked with the Environment Agency to help restrict access to the river, which he says should be looked into again in light of the two most recent deaths.
Mark added: “Long term what we’re looking at is education in schools. “We’re doing all we can to push that.”
He has been speaking with MP for Slough Tan Dhesi, who has brought up his son’s case in Parliament and has called for swimming and water safety to be implemented in the national curriculum.
Michael’s mother Sonia was interviewed by ITV News at the bank of the Jubilee River last week, where cameras filmed a group of men swimming nearby.
She told the programme: “I’m stood here and there are people in the river, despite being told that there are two people who have died here in the past couple of weeks — and they’re still doing it.”
“I’m actually stood here shaking. It’s making me feel sick in the stomach that another parent may go through what we have.”
A Slough Borough Council spokeswoman said the Environment Agency, which owns most of the land along the river, is installing new metal fencing, warning signs and life buoys as part of its regular maintenance.
Buoys have been stolen or set alight in the past.
The spokeswoman said that the Jubilee River is in fact a ‘man made flood alleviation channel’ which does not flow in the same way to a river.
She added: “People don’t understand the weir but it’s extremely dangerous. It’s deeply unsafe if you come off the weir, unbelievably unsafe.”
The depth of the river suddenly rises when the weir is opened, causing an unexpected hazard.
The Environment Agency did not wish to comment.
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