UPDATE: East Lancs student dies in 'raft' tragedy

James Goodship

James Goodship

First published in Foulridge
Last updated

TEARFUL friends of a teenage boy who drowned in a reservoir have described the moment their pal ‘just disappeared’.

James Goodship, 17, died after a group of seven teenagers got into trouble while floating on a ‘raft’.

Shocked onlookers said he went under water just 40 yards from the shore. Yesterday dozens of flowers were laid at the scene of the tragedy as youngsters paid tribute to the former Park High School student.

The death came as a campaign was launched across East Lancashire urging people not to swim in open water during the hot weather.

James’s friends said he and another boy, Keaton Greaves, got into the water to pull the ‘raft’ ashore when it drifted unexpectedly into the middle of Lake Burwain, in Foulridge.

Luke Rigg, 16, who was playing with James on the ‘raft’, said: “We came out because of the hot weather. It was just a bad accident. He just disappeared.

“I’d say to people, ‘don’t go near the water’. He was under for an hour before the emergency services got here.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Police said they were called to Burwain Sailing Club, in Reedymoor Lane, at 7.30pm on Sunday and an extensive search begun.

James’s body was pulled from the water at around 5.40am yesterday following a search by specialist diving teams.

Keaton was taken to hospital for a check-up but suffered no serious injuries, his friends said.

The group were using a wooden pontoon, a large flat-bottomed boat which they said they found near the sailing club, as a raft.

Liam Menmuir, 16, who also on board the ‘raft’, said: “He was a funny guy. He went to Burnley College. We just came down for a walk.

“He was a good lad. If he said he was going to do something, he did it. Everyone liked him.

“He had two brothers and a sister. He adored his little brothers. He was so caring, always there for everyone.

“He was amazing. I don’t know how we will replace him. He was the joker in the group.”

Liam said there were seven people on the raft at one stage, while two other friends watched from the side of the lake.

Dozens of emergency vehicles, including police dogs, search and rescue officers, ambulances and a police helicopter spent hours searching for James but a lack of light meant the search was called off overnight at around 11.30pm on Sunday.

Streets and paths around the lake, also known as Lower Foulridge Reservoir, were cordoned off by police until yesterday afternoon while crime scene investigators and detectives attended the scene.

Ken Dickinson, who lived on a farm off Smithy Lane, on the edge of the lake, said he could see the drama unfold from his back garden.

The 63-year-old said: “I could see a few young lads messing about and this pontoon just floated away. I was amazed at how far it travelled.

“It got right to the middle and two of them decided they would drag it back to the edge.

“One of them got back on when he realised how hard it was, but the other kept swimming. He got so close to the shore.

“My neighbours rang the police to say they were in trouble. I feel so bad. It’s really got to me.”

Luke Rigg said he and his friends pleaded with James not to get into the water.

He said: “There were two girls who didn’t go on the raft. James made his own choice to go in the water. We said no but he wanted to get off it.

“It was just a bit of fun, then he was shouting for help. There was a man and his wife stood nearby. The man wanted to rescue him but his wife said no.

“We were just screaming for help but no-one came. I think people didn’t believe us. Because of the weather they get it a lot around here.”

Last night, at his father’s home in Duke Street, Colne, James’s relatives said they were too devastated to talk about his death.

James’s old headteacher at Park High School, Dr Paul Parkin, said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts and sympathies are with James's family and friends.

“It has been a great shock, not just to those young people directly involved but to everyone in the school. We are working with experts from the county council to provide the support that pupils and staff will need to cope.

“Our former pupil, James, was a confident and popular young man who always made those around him laugh.

“He had a permanent smile on his face and a football in his hand. James was a loyal and trusted friend to many present and former pupils and will be sadly missed by Park High School.

“This tragedy underlines the dangers of swimming in open water. We regularly remind our young people of that message and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.”

Dominic Emery, 18, who played football with James for Colne side Union FC, said: “We knew him through his sister, Lauren. He was always a bubbly character. It’s terrible.”

Several posters and signs at the entrance to Burwain Sailing Club were in place to warn about the dangers of open water swimming.

Commodore for the club, Stephen Graham, said its members were devastated to learn of James’s death.

He said: “Burwain Sailing Club wishes to extend its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the young boy who drowned on Sunday evening.

“It is a tragic accident in what can be very dangerous waters. In periods of hot weather the waters around the club house can be very inviting; however, we do ask all members of the public to adhere to no swimming signs.

“What can be seen as very inviting waters for fun and enjoyment can in fact hold many hidden dangers.”

Inspector Grant Smith, manager of Lancashire police’s force major investigation team, said there was no suggestion that alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

Comments (13)

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10:13am Mon 23 Jun 14

GracesDad says...

Terrible news! RIP young man, hope your death will be a lesson to others and this event prevents the loss of others thinking of doing the same thing.
Terrible news! RIP young man, hope your death will be a lesson to others and this event prevents the loss of others thinking of doing the same thing. GracesDad
  • Score: 33

10:39am Mon 23 Jun 14

Bamber1996 says...

RIP James! Wouldn't wish this upon anyone! And to think, only last year you was in my form.
Thoughts are with the family.
RIP James! Wouldn't wish this upon anyone! And to think, only last year you was in my form. Thoughts are with the family. Bamber1996
  • Score: 27

3:20pm Mon 23 Jun 14

andy1 says...

RIP lad. Please any one else reading this do not put yourself and others in danger by swimming etc in places like this. Thoughts to all concerned.
RIP lad. Please any one else reading this do not put yourself and others in danger by swimming etc in places like this. Thoughts to all concerned. andy1
  • Score: 18

5:56pm Mon 23 Jun 14

A Darener says...

Every summer warnings are given about swimming in lakes, reservoirs etc. Every year somebody drowns. Lessons are never learnt.
Another unnecessary tragic victim.
RIP.
Every summer warnings are given about swimming in lakes, reservoirs etc. Every year somebody drowns. Lessons are never learnt. Another unnecessary tragic victim. RIP. A Darener
  • Score: 16

6:08pm Mon 23 Jun 14

claret mov says...

I work with this young man's dad and also have a son at the same age, my deepest sympathy to you peter and the rest of your family I cannot imagine what you're going through right now.
I work with this young man's dad and also have a son at the same age, my deepest sympathy to you peter and the rest of your family I cannot imagine what you're going through right now. claret mov
  • Score: 23

6:50pm Mon 23 Jun 14

gazzandste says...

A friend of mine died in Clowbridge reservoir over 35 years ago, the thoughts never go away. He got trapped in rocks, as a kid you panic when they don`t surface. my advice to any child who decides to swim in any reservoir, think again. They are the most dangerous place to spend a day swimming. Please keep to your local swimming pool supervised.
A friend of mine died in Clowbridge reservoir over 35 years ago, the thoughts never go away. He got trapped in rocks, as a kid you panic when they don`t surface. my advice to any child who decides to swim in any reservoir, think again. They are the most dangerous place to spend a day swimming. Please keep to your local swimming pool supervised. gazzandste
  • Score: 8

9:15am Tue 24 Jun 14

useyourhead says...

R.I.P young man.
-
It may sound a little ghoulish but if there was a gravestone erected up there as memorial to these losses the memory of these things won't fade and hopefully others will think twice when faced with the reality.
R.I.P young man. - It may sound a little ghoulish but if there was a gravestone erected up there as memorial to these losses the memory of these things won't fade and hopefully others will think twice when faced with the reality. useyourhead
  • Score: 9

11:10am Tue 24 Jun 14

rudis_dad says...

This is why open-water swimmers, triathletes and divers ALWAYS wear wet-suits except in very shallow water, even in hot weather in the UK. The water temperature in a reservoir can drop unbelievably quickly only a matter of a few inches from the surface. Sudden immersion in such cold water can cause hypothermic shock which can lead to breathing difficulties, reduced circulation and cardiac arrest. I'm a firm believer in taking responsibility for your own actions, but parents and schools need to be making sure that children are well aware of the dangers and the potential for fatalities. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
This is why open-water swimmers, triathletes and divers ALWAYS wear wet-suits except in very shallow water, even in hot weather in the UK. The water temperature in a reservoir can drop unbelievably quickly only a matter of a few inches from the surface. Sudden immersion in such cold water can cause hypothermic shock which can lead to breathing difficulties, reduced circulation and cardiac arrest. I'm a firm believer in taking responsibility for your own actions, but parents and schools need to be making sure that children are well aware of the dangers and the potential for fatalities. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. rudis_dad
  • Score: 3

8:44pm Tue 24 Jun 14

It's a spade! says...

Terrible tragedy!

My son goes to Park and he said they were all pulled into assembly. I asked if it was to warn them about the dangers of swimming in open water?

No, it was just to advise them not to speak to the press and to avoid putting stuff on Facebook.

Well done Dr Parkin, glad to see your priorities are in order.
Terrible tragedy! My son goes to Park and he said they were all pulled into assembly. I asked if it was to warn them about the dangers of swimming in open water? No, it was just to advise them not to speak to the press and to avoid putting stuff on Facebook. Well done Dr Parkin, glad to see your priorities are in order. It's a spade!
  • Score: 8

9:01pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Amanda Broome says...

RIP james such a bonny lad my thoughts are with your family and friends x x x
RIP james such a bonny lad my thoughts are with your family and friends x x x Amanda Broome
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Tue 24 Jun 14

peely says...

A terrible,terrible tragedy but as an experienced open water swimmer myself I can fully understand how these tragedies happen . Warm weather doesn't, always mean warm water , it,s vital to acclimatise for a few minutes to get used to the cold water but unfortunately kids just dive/ jump in and the cold literally takes your breath away , then panic sets in ! More should be done in schools to try and educate kids about the dangers ! My heart goes out to his family !
A terrible,terrible tragedy but as an experienced open water swimmer myself I can fully understand how these tragedies happen . Warm weather doesn't, always mean warm water , it,s vital to acclimatise for a few minutes to get used to the cold water but unfortunately kids just dive/ jump in and the cold literally takes your breath away , then panic sets in ! More should be done in schools to try and educate kids about the dangers ! My heart goes out to his family ! peely
  • Score: 0

8:07am Wed 25 Jun 14

geeky1 says...

It's a spade! wrote:
Terrible tragedy!

My son goes to Park and he said they were all pulled into assembly. I asked if it was to warn them about the dangers of swimming in open water?

No, it was just to advise them not to speak to the press and to avoid putting stuff on Facebook.

Well done Dr Parkin, glad to see your priorities are in order.
I believe the assembly was to prevent hurtful speculation from circulating social media in respect for James, his family and friends at this difficult time when the facts were not fully known. Very sad for all concerned and my thoughts are with you.
[quote][p][bold]It's a spade![/bold] wrote: Terrible tragedy! My son goes to Park and he said they were all pulled into assembly. I asked if it was to warn them about the dangers of swimming in open water? No, it was just to advise them not to speak to the press and to avoid putting stuff on Facebook. Well done Dr Parkin, glad to see your priorities are in order.[/p][/quote]I believe the assembly was to prevent hurtful speculation from circulating social media in respect for James, his family and friends at this difficult time when the facts were not fully known. Very sad for all concerned and my thoughts are with you. geeky1
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Wed 25 Jun 14

jen*** says...

Rip James I barely knew you and your death has shocked an saddened me, I cant begin to imagine what your family and friends are going through right now. My thoughts are with them. Xx
Rip James I barely knew you and your death has shocked an saddened me, I cant begin to imagine what your family and friends are going through right now. My thoughts are with them. Xx jen***
  • Score: 0

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