Family of 'aspiring footballer' who drowned in Thames urge children to take care when swimming

-Credit: (Image: LFB)
-Credit: (Image: LFB)


The family of a teenager who drowned after jumping into the River Thames have met with students from his secondary school to urge schoolchildren to take care when swimming this summer.

Brian Sasu, 14, drowned in July 2022, after jumping from a bridge into the River Thames at a popular swimming spot at Tagg’s Island in Richmond. An extensive search and rescue operation was then launched and Brian’s body was found the next day.

Brian’s father George Sasu has warned youngsters of the dangers of swimming in and around open waters during the summer months.

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Brian Sasu drowned after getting into the water to cool off -Credit:George Sasu
Brian Sasu drowned after getting into the water to cool off -Credit:George Sasu

“I want parents and schools to talk to children about the dangers of open waters so that what happened to Brian won’t happen to their own children. If they’re spending time near the riverside with the warmer weather, please tell them that if they are going swimming, not to jump in because it’s so dangerous,” he said.

In 2022, shortly after the tragic incident, Mr Sasu told MailOnline that his son, who was as aspiring footballer and Chelsea fan, couldn’t swim and that he hated being in the water. “We are all devastated, this is like a nightmare. This is a very difficult time for us,” he told MailOnline.

Since Brian’s death, the Brigade has installed 17 throwline boards, including one in his memory. The Brigade has also contacted all of London’s local authorities asking them to carry out risk assessments along their waterways of life-saving equipment.

Brian Sasu (right) with his dad George, and his little brother Kelvin -Credit:George Sasu
Brian Sasu (right) with his dad George, and his little brother Kelvin -Credit:George Sasu

The family spoke at an event which was held at Twickenham Fire Station, St. Mark’s in Hounslow, and hosted by the London Fire Brigade's education team and local firefighters.

The session was held for year seven pupils and taught them how to stay safe over the holidays when spending time near water. Borough Commander for Richmond, Rob Davies, used Twickenham's new Big River Flume Demonstration Tank, which visually highlights how water behaves in rivers and demonstrates the risks of swimming in them.

Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Protection Craig Carter urged anyone struggling in the water to: “Tilt your head back with your ears submerged and gently move your hands to help you stay afloat. Spread your arms and legs out – it's OK if your legs sink. Once your breathing is under control, call for help or swim to safety.”

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