UK heatwave: Brian Sasu, 14, who drowned in the Thames ‘could not swim’, say family

·3-min read
UK heatwave: Brian Sasu, 14, who drowned in the Thames ‘could not swim’, say family

The family of a schoolboy who drowned in the Thames believe he only got in the water due to the hot weather and peer pressure in a warning to other children of the dangers of swimming in open water.

Brian Sasu, 14, went swimming with friends at Tagg’s Island in Hampton after his school closed early during Monday’s scorching 37C heatwave. He disappeared under the water close to a bridge with friends and locals launching a desperate search to find him.

His father George told MailOnline: “Brian could not swim, he hated being in the water. We are all devastated, this is like a nightmare.”

Brian Sasu got into difficulty in the Thames (facebook)
Brian Sasu got into difficulty in the Thames (facebook)

Mr Sasu said he would have stopped Brian, a pupil at St Mark’s Roman Catholic School in Hounslow, from going if he knew his son was heading to the Thames.

He added: “That’s probably why he didn’t tell me what he was doing. I think Brian getting into the water was because of the heat and peer pressure. And it’s led to this terrible tragedy.

“If he had told me he was going swimming then I would not have allowed him to go because I know he can’t swim.

“Parents and children need to be aware of the dangers of swimming in open water where there are no life guards. And if there any youngsters who can’t swim at all, then please, keep away from the water.”

It comes as a number of people have died while swimming in open water during the recent spell of hot weather.

“Very sadly, efforts to locate the boy were unsuccessful and at 6.40pm the rescue operation was brought to an end. Efforts to recover his body will continue into this evening,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

Superintendent Richard Smith, from the South West Command Unit, said: “Despite the very best efforts of all involved, we must now sadly conclude that this young boy has died.

“His death is a tragedy and I cannot begin to imagine what his family will be going through. All our thoughts are with them.

“I know that on days like today when temperatures are at a record high, it might look appealing to jump in and cool off in rivers, reservoirs, lakes or other open water.

“Please don’t. The dangers are real and this evening in Richmond we have seen the terrible consequences of what happens when it goes wrong.

“To young people in particular, I would urge you to be the person in your group of friends who says no and reminds others about the dangers. Your intervention could save a life and save another family from experiencing such an awful loss.”

A 16-year-old boy died earlier on Tuesday after getting into difficulty in Bray Lake, near Maidenhead, in Berkshire.

The family of Robert Hattersley, 13, of Crawcrook, who died following an incident in the River Tyne near Ovingham in Northumberland on Sunday, paid tribute to the teenager, saying he “brought a smile to so many people’s faces and he will be missed by absolutely everyone who knew and loved him”.

While the body of a 50-year-old man was recovered from Ardsley Reservoir, between Leeds and Wakefield, on Sunday.

A 16-year-old boy died after he was seen struggling in the water at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, on Saturday.

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