05:25PM, Tuesday 22 January 2019
The inquest of a 17-year-old boy who was swept away by the current in the Jubilee River last summer and drowned has prompted safety warnings from a coroner and the teenager’s family.
Dajarn Mason Daly, of Huxley Close, Wexham, went under the water and never emerged on the afternoon of July 4 while swimming with friend Anamullah Syed.
An inquest at Reading Town Hall this afternoon (Tuesday) heard how Anamullah and Dajarn had brought a rope with them which they tied to a bridge and used to swing and lower themselves into the water and grabbed to steady themselves.
Giving evidence at the inquest, Anamullah said the current near the weir close to Windsor Road got stronger and swept Dajarn away after he failed to grasp the rope.
“It was too deep, it dragged us down. I’m trying to swim to Dajarn but the current wouldn’t allow me because the water was on top of me. I was struggling as well,” said Anamullah.
The inquest heard how former lifeguard Sofinae Lazouguene, who was sunbathing beside the river, dived into the water and tried to look for Dajarn underneath but saw no sign of him.
Police, the fire brigade, the ambulance and air ambulance services and divers were all called to the site, the inquest heard.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” Anamullah said to tearful family members, to which Dajarn’s father, Douglas Simmons, replied ‘don’t beat yourself up’.
Coroner Heidi Connor said: “If you’re carrying any guilt on yourself you’ve heard from the family not to do that.
“Perhaps you would advise to your friends think about it [jumping in the river] not to think about it.”
“This case absolutely breaks my heart and my heart goes out to all of you as his family here today.”
A postmortem said that Dajarn had drowned and Mrs Connor concluded that Dajarn had died as a result of an accident.
Dajarn’s family members described him as funny and upbeat and said he was in a happy mood on the day he died.
He had been talking to his family about going on the plane for a planned holiday to Jamaica before he left the house.
Speaking after the inquest, his family said more safety measures and deterrents are needed to prevent future deaths in the river between Slough and Eton.
They called for fencing, lifeguards and people on patrol who could issue fines to prevent people from swimming near the weir.
“It’s going to happen this year unless they do something about it,” said Dajarn's grandmother Denise Daly.
Last summer the Express reported a number of deaths of swimmers in the Jubilee River.
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