September 22, 2021

Griff River: The Life Belt initiative has been appreciated by the people of Mohmand.

A grieving mother whose young son died after falling into trouble in the Griffin River said she was relieved that life belts had now been put in place to prevent similar tragedies.

Sharon Drainen, 49, was devastated when her 13-year-old son, William McNally, died in June.

William High School student William was swimming locally as Clay Pitts in a section of the river near Achins Farm in Houston on June 2, when his leisurely day took a tragic turn.

He was pulled from the water and taken to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children in critical condition, but died three days later.

Four life belts are now fastened to the river poles.

Safety equipment donated by the Glasgow Human Society (GHS) is attached to ropes to assist in any possible rescue.

Sharon hopes to take further precautions along the Griff River and other danger areas.

She told The Gazette, entitled Our Sister: “I cannot thank the Glasgow Human Society for its work with the Life Belts.

“I would be happy if they could save just one life.

More needs to be done to improve water security and these steps must be taken everywhere.

“I also want to see warning signs to stop people from going into the river.”

Sharon and her 37-year-old sister Jane are also hoping to get a GPS. [Global Positioning System] Riverside code with a code that can be given when dialing 999 so that emergency services know where to go.

Glasgow Times: Derek Loflin with one of the new life belts on the Griffith River.Drake Loflin with one of the new life belts on the Griff River.

Jane, a senior social worker, said in Renfrewshire. Council And local landowners are working with the Lynnwood family to further improve safety.

He added: “Each pole has been positioned so that no one needs to run in an emergency.”

Jane has also raised 1,600 for GHS.

“We are working with the local council and the Houston Community Council to form a water safety group,” said Derek Lofflin, director of the GHS board.

“Griff passes through Kalkum, the Bridge of Wear and Houston, and there have been half a dozen deaths near the river in the last 20 years, so we’re hoping more hot belts will be installed along the river at the hotspot.

“We hope to enter schools in the coming months and teach children how to throw ropes and life belts properly.”

William, described by friends and family as “kind and gentle,” was buried June 18 in Birdward Cemetery, Aldersley.

Her parents decided to donate her organs in the hope that they would save another child’s life.

Visit to learn more about water safety. www.glasgowhumanesociety.org.uk.

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