New water safety equipment has been installed in Fatfield, Washington, near to where a number of people lost their lives.
Sunderland City Council has invested in two new throw-line boards at Mount Pleasant Lake and Pattison South Pond, which are used to pull people out of the water.
This is in addition to the existing throw-line board opposite the Biddick Inn, which is dedicated to Ross Anthony Irwin whose body was discovered in the water Christmas Eve, 2016.
Councillor Fiona Miller said: “We don’t want anymore families to go through the devastating loss of their loved ones, so I’m really pleased to see these boards installed by the City Council.”
The Council have recognised that the existing apparatus was being stolen and vandalised, therefore these throw-line boards are only accessible by using a pin code issued by the emergency services on urgent request.
Wheatley William Smith, local resident and volunteer safety patroller, said: “I used to have a lifebuoy, but somebody decided to throw it in the river. I have one throw bag for if I see anyone while I’m walking down the river.”
By Brooke Murphy and Rebecca Redford