Drowned boy's parents' warning

By David LennardA GRIEVING mother has made a heartfelt plea for parents and teenagers to be more aware of the effects of alcohol after her son drowned following a beach party.

By David Lennard

A GRIEVING mother has made a heartfelt plea for parents and teenagers to be more aware of the effects of alcohol after her son drowned following a beach party.

Rory Unwin-Rose, 15, had been at the all-night beach party in Walberswick with school friends on August 7.

Many of the people invited to the party had brought alcohol, including cases of lager, along with smaller amounts of gin and vodka.


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Rory, a pupil at Woodbridge School, went missing in the early hours, but his friends thought he had gone for a walk and did not become concerned until later in the day when he had not returned.

They searched the beach area for Rory without success before contacting their parents, who called the police.

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A huge operation involving search and rescue teams, police officers, lifeboat crews and the coastguard was launched, but no trace was found of the teenager.

Rory's body was eventually recovered from the River Blyth on August 10 and Lowestoft coroner George Leguen de Lacroix recorded a verdict of accidental death at an inquest yesterday.

Dr Geoffrey Walters, a consultant pathologist at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, said Rory, of Cretingham, near Framlingham, had died from “dry drowning” - when the body goes into shock at the sudden immersion of water and the heart stops beating.

The inquest heard a test had showed Rory had had 145mgs of alcohol in 100mls of blood, with 80mgs the legal limit for motorists.

Dr Walters said so much alcohol would have led an adult to “lose control” and would have had an even greater impact on a 15-year-old.

Rory's parents attended the inquest and his mother, Geraldine, issued a statement after the hearing.

“It saddens me to think that my son's accident was the result of drinking an excess of alcohol. But my son was 15 and was obviously in need of adult supervision,” she said.

“I urge parents and teenagers to behave responsibly with regard to the consumption of alcohol at parties. Beach parties provide the fatal mixture of alcohol and water and require close supervision.”

Mrs Unwin-Rose added: “As adults, most of us can look back and remember an occasion when we drank too much and felt ill as a result, but we have lived to tell the tale.

“Sadly my son's life has been cut short. He was full of fun and had a lot of potential both academically and in sport - but most of all he was a much-loved son, brother and friend.”

Mr Leguen de Lacroix said he was alarmed 14 and 15-year-old schoolchildren could get hold of so much alcohol.

“I am sure that after consuming so much alcohol, the youngsters would not be aware of the possible dangers from the sea and river,” he added.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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