Riverbank to be railed off after dad’s tragic death

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Staff reporter

RAILINGS will be put up along a stretch of the River Severn where a father-of-one was found dead.

The body of Mark Hodnett, 27, was pulled out of the river on August 18 following a six-day search around Shrewsbury.

The barriers will go up near the weir and between the railway and St Mary’s Water Lane in a bid to improve safety and cut the number of deaths in the water.

But council bosses say they have no plans for barriers at the site where Mr Hodnett went missing last month.

A taskforce including Shropshire Council, West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service will be installing the barriers after reviewing safety.

Tim Sneddon, service manager for environmental maintenance at Shropshire Council, said: “The land alongside the river is managed by various different landowners and the council, police, fire service and others are working together to raise awareness of the dangers of the river as well as how to make it safer.

“This includes safer drinking awareness campaigns, the installation of life buoys, minor repairs to the current fencing and limited additional fencing where a particular risk has been identified.

“We will continue to work with the wider River Safety Group with the aim of allowing safe and appropriate access to the paths alongside the river.”

Mr Hodnett, from Grange Road, Radbrook, went missing in the early hours of Saturday, August 13 after a night out with friends.

CCTV footage shows him leaving C:21 nightclub on Abbey Foregate and making his way towards the nearby English Bridge.

His body was later recovered close to the Kingsland Bridge.

More than 300 people signed the online petition ‘Fence off the Severn’ started by his friends calling for safety barriers along the river bank.

Matthew Everington, a friend of Mr Hodnett, said more needed to be done to prevent further tragedies.

He told Shrewsbury Living: “It is a step in the right direction but it is nowhere near enough to solve the problem.

“I think CCTV cameras should be installed along the river, especially bear the Boathouse, Quarry and along Abbey Foregate because there is a footpath that allows you direct access to the river.

“CCTV means that if somebody goes into the river, it would be easier to pinpoint their exact location.”

There have been at least 24 deaths in the River Severn through Shropshire during the past six years.

See full story in the Leader

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