PRIME Minister David Cameron has described the death of Pendle teenager James Goodship as ‘absolutely heartbreaking’.
Mr Cameron was quizzed on water safety by Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson, in light of the death of 17-year-old James, who drowned after getting into trouble while on a makeshift raft on Lake Burwain in Foulridge.
The former Park High School student, who lived in Colne, was one of seven people playing on the raft on Sunday evening.
During Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Stephenson asked what more could be done to prevent further tragedies.
He said: “On Sunday, 17-year-old James Goodship tragically drowned in Lake Burwain in my constituency.
“His death has left his family and friends, and the local community, in shock.
“As this week is drowning prevention week, what can the Prime Minister do to raise awareness of the dangers of open water and to improve water safety, particularly during this warm summer?”
Mr Cameron said: “My heart goes out to the family that my honourable friend has mentioned, and he is absolutely right to raise this issue. For anyone to lose a son in such a tragic way is absolutely heartbreaking.
“We need to spread better information about the dangers of swimming in open water.
“We also need to do more to teach swimming and life-saving skills in schools.”
An inquest into the death of James was opened yesterday morning.
Coroner’s officer PC Martin Hall said: “A post-mortem has been carried out.
“No cause of death has yet been given as they are awaiting toxicology reports, but the findings so far are consistent with drowning. The inquest has been adjourned until September 23.”
A Facebook page paying tribute to James has now been liked by more than 4,700 people.
The RIP James Goodship page is now fundraising to help pay for the costs of James’s funeral and to fund a permanent memorial in his memory.
It has already raised more than £600.